Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Division engineers are working hard in the lead-up to an Airworthiness Board in August to ensure the Australian F-35A JSF is successfully certified before the arrival of our first two aircraft in December.
The Defence Aviation Safety Authority (DASA) recently introduced revised terminology and concepts to the ADF aviation environment via Defence Aviation Safety Regulations (DASR). As a result, JSF Division engineers have been working closely with DASA, Air Combat Transition Office (ACTO) and Air Combat Group personnel to align F-35A Airworthiness Board processes and governance activities with the new DASR requirements.
Project Director Mission Systems Stephen McDonald, of JSF Division, said this combined team effort included specific due diligence activities associated with the certification of the F-35A, including assessments against the F-35A configuration, role and environmental aspects.
“It also includes the implementation of controls to reduce identified hazards so far as reasonably practicable in accordance with DASA and WHS requirements,” Mr McDonald said.
“While the combined team takes credit for the achievements to date, the JSF Division Mission Systems engineers, along with ACTO and the F-35A aircrew at the International Pilot Training Centre in Arizona, US, should be recognised for their significant contributions leading to the application of the Australian F-35A Military Type Certificate (MTC) and Military Air Operator Certificate (MAOC).”
Mission Systems engineers in the JSF Division are also coordinating the development of the F-35A Accomplishment Summary, which is a comprehensive document summarising the entire F-35A aviation systems and supporting constructs underpinning ongoing F-35A air operations in Australia.
“The Accomplishment Summary was submitted to the DASA on June 20, six weeks before the F-35A Airworthiness Board, scheduled for August 1,” Mr McDonald said.
“This Airworthiness Board is an important milestone for the F-35A Project. It will review any aspect of Defence aviation as it applies to the F-35A construct, as well as impose limitations or conditions that may be incorporated in the MTC or MAOC being applied for via the Accomplishment Summary.”
What are Defence Aviation Safety Regulations?
Defence Aviation Safety Regulations are regulations or rules with which any organisations that operate military aircraft in the ADF must comply. Compliance is via robust processes, authorisations and other activities that are checked periodically.
What is a Military Type Certificate?
A Military Type Certificate is issued by an airworthiness regulator (such as the Defence Aviation Safety Authority for the ADF, or the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for civil aviation) that signifies the aircraft design (called ‘Type Design’) has been proven to be designed against internationally recognised standards. The authorities will also check regularly that organisations operating aircraft do so in a manner consistent with how the aircraft was designed.
What is a Military Air Operator Certificate?
The Military Air Operator – Air Combat Group in the case of the F-35A – applies to the Defence Aviation Safety Authority (DASA) for a Military Air Operator Certificate (MAOC) to operate the F-35A in Australia. The DASA will review Air Combat Group’s application for the MAOC via the Accomplishment Summary and supporting artefacts at the Airworthiness Board on August 1. If the DASA is satisfied with the system of systems to ensure safe F-35A air operations, the MAOC will be issued.