Airframe Structures and Materials Program
The Airframe Structures and Materials program focuses on the design, materials selection, fabrication, inspection and maintenance related to air-vehicle structures. Airframe materials and structures science and technology offers opportunities in durability, structural life, sustainment, ready-for-tasking effectiveness and affordability. Most airframe technology challenges are not platform or design specific; they are fully represented in both current new-build and planned next-generation platform designs.
Core investments include directed basic and applied research funding, with proposals developed for Future Naval Capabilities and other advanced technology development options. Work is supported by naval aviation experts at the Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Air Warfare Center labs and the Navy Research Laboratory. Close coordination with the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Army Aviation Command and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency helps to ensure that in addition to Navy and Marine Corps unique technology needs, the investments of other services and agencies are leveraged and integrated.
Advanced airframe technology will improve the understanding and predicting the impact of material property degradation, developing advanced shipboard inspection, maintenance, and repair methods, airframe structural life prognosis and sustainment, integrated materials selection and design analysis, and high-mechanical loads/light-weight structural requirements for shipboard launch/recovery.
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