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Northrop Grumman Sr. Principal Weapon System Operator (WSO) in Patuxent River, Maryland

Climb to new heights on your journey when you start Defining Possible with Northrop Grumman. Enjoy a purposeful career in aeronautics that is crucial to the way we connect and protect our world across land, sea, and air. Bring your experience and take advantage of this opportunity to discover how you can start to push past possible and achieve your goals today. Enjoy a diverse, collaborative environment with professionals across the nation ready to help launch your career.

Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems (NGAS) has an exciting career opportunity for a Sr. Principal Weapon Systems Operator (WSO) to join our team of qualified, diverse individuals in support of the Triton program test activities. This position will be located at NAS (Naval Air Station) Patuxent River, MD.

Position Overview:

The Weapon Systems Operator (WSO) will support the E-2D air vehicle and mission systems, ground and flight tests. ITT (Integrated Test Team) test program support currently includes Aerial Refueling Experimental Flight Test, future air vehicle development programs, Mission System Software upgrade development testing, as well as future mission systems development programs. The Weapon System Operator will conduct E-2D Mission System and Air Vehicle ground and flight tests, as aircrew, to support the Weapon System Specification verification process for developmental flight test and act as engineering and data analysis liaison for Future Development Insertion for the E-2D Weapons System.

Some of the responsibilities for the selected candidate will include participating in Air Vehicle and Mission System Technical Interchange Meetings, Preliminary Design Reviews, Critical Design Reviews, and Flight Readiness Reviews. Will write ground and flight test plans, procedures, training for other aircrew, and update Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) when applicable. Brief other test aircrew and E-2D fleet squadrons on new hardware and software capabilities. When designated as Test Conductor, will be responsible for overall conduct of test and provide technical feedback to engineering in support of potential software and/or hardware modifications. Additionally, some work with foreign governments is possible with E-2D sales abroad.

Essential Functions:

  • Work/fly alongside Navy Test aircrew to ground and flight test new system hardware and software.

  • Provide oversight for development of test plans / test cards to ensure safety and efficiency.

  • Assist engineering in development of Weapon System Specification (WSS).

  • Work with the Software integration Lab to determine WSS compliance.

  • Write Discrepancy Reports on new software and hardware functionality and work with engineering to determine potential corrections.

  • Based on new system capability, write NATOPS changes and brief other aircrew on new system requirements and functionality.

  • Coordinate group training events to encourage continued learning within the test team.

  • Mentor other aircrew and Flight Test Engineers.

  • Incorporate "lessons learned" and process improvements to maintain / improve safety and efficiency within the team.

  • Lead post-flight debriefs to collect relevant test data and ensure lessons learned are captured for future testing.

  • Lead pre-flight briefs to efficiently coordinate complex testing with large team of aircrew and engineers.

  • Write post-flight summaries/reports and debrief engineers on success of flight and test points conducted as defined in the test plan.

The selected candidate should thrive in a fast-paced work environment with high expectations, significantly diverse assignments, collaborative/team settings across all levels.

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Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited university and 9 years of related experience, or a Master's Degree and 7 years of experience, or a PhD with 4 years of related experience.

  • Must be able to pass FAA Class II physical as a condition of employment.

  • E-2D NFO NATOPS qualified.

  • Ability to travel up to 25% both domestic and international that may include detachments lasting several weeks.

  • A current active in-scope U.S. Government DoD Secret security clearance or higher is required to start, with the ability to obtain and maintain a Top Secret clearance.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's or Master's Degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) discipline from an accredited university.

  • Demonstrated proficiency in MS Office with strong technical writing skills and the ability to communicate and present technical material to various stakeholders.

  • Test Pilot School graduate.

  • A current active in-scope U.S. Government DoD Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) security clearance.


Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.

Job Category : Flight Operations