Composite Airframe Life Extension (CALE)

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

This is a three (3) year Closed Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) with calls describing the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Aerospace Vehicles Division (AFRL/RQV)’s interest in extending the airframe service life by identifying and developing technology to know and/or predict the residual strength, durability and damage tolerance, and reliability of advanced composite structure throughout the original, and if required new service life of the airframe. This closed BAA with Calls approach only allows for proposal submittals at a specified date and time through the issuance of a call. As technical topic areas are identified, a call may be issued in the FedBizOpps/EPS or to request proposals for specific research efforts. These subsequent calls will contain specific descriptions of the research effort to be addressed, the anticipated period of performance, the information particular to the specific research technical topic area, and the estimated funding profile for the call.

Call #1: This is a NOCA informing potential offerors of the upcoming first Call for the “Certification of Composites – Composite Airframe Life Extension” acquisition.

The “next generation” of DoD tactical and mobility aircraft will have to meet very challenging goals for performance, affordability and economy of operation. The airframe weight reductions sought to achieve these goals will require revolutionary airframes implementing composite materials applied to structural concepts not in use in Air Force aircraft today. There are significant technical issues related to verifying the initial and continuing airworthiness of such structures are sufficient to meet the lifetime structural integrity requirements of the United States Air Force. Similar issues exist with respect to certification of composite structure for civilian aircraft.

The Air Force Research Laboratory intends to execute a technology development and demonstration initiative to reduce the scope of the technical effort required to establish the initial and the continuing airworthiness of airframe structure manufactured from advanced composite materials. The long term objective of this effort is to reduce the risk of implementing large scale, unitized composite structures in future airframes. The program will identify and select, develop, and demonstrate technology which will improve our ability to assess and predict, control and increase the structural integrity of composite structure as a function of its constituent materials, configuration, features, and manufactured state, and as influenced by its known history and expected future service environment and loads.

Closing Date: April 9, 2018

Agency Website

Amount Description

See Detail Page

Funding Type



Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

April 9, 2018