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August 17, 2016

USAF establishes industry partnerships for aircraft research and development

The US Air Force (USAF) is signing cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) with industry partners to conduct airworthiness assessments on non-Defense Department military type aircraft.

By Srivari Aishwarya

The US Air Force (USAF) is signing cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) with industry partners to conduct airworthiness assessments on non-Defense Department military type aircraft.

CRADAs will allow the government to provide services, facilities or both to partners to conduct federal research development and engineering activities.

The USAF, along with its industry partners, will define a set of evaluation criteria using MIL-HDBK-516.

"These partnerships will help our military maintain its technical superiority while supporting a robust defence industry base."

Upon establishing the assessment criteria, the Air Force carries out an independent compliance assessment using design, analysis and test data provided by the industry collaborator.

The USAF will produce a comprehensive risk analysis document, called an airworthiness assessment report, at the end of the fact-based and data-driven assessment process.

The partnerships between the government and industry will help the USAF better understand commercial innovations and support its broader research and development goals.

USAF Technical Airworthiness Authority official Jorge Gonzalez said: “These partnerships will help our military maintain its technical superiority while supporting a robust defence industry base.”

The USAF’s new Non-Defense Military Aircraft Office will take responsibility to implement CRADAs.

The first CRADA of this kind was executed between the Air Force and Textron AirLand, the USAF said in a statement.

The standard CRADA period of performance is two years. However, it can be completed early, terminated by either party at any time or extended as necessary upon agreement from both parties.

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