In October 2010, the US government approved the diversion of two Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS) for Australia to replace the in-service initial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capability; and for development of full capability potential and training operations in Australia. During this period the ADF UAS technical regulatory system was undergoing revision and refinement to keep up with acquisition and operational challenges.
Nova Systems were initially engaged to provide experience in UAV airworthiness regulatory challenges and supplementary technical resources to facilitate and generate necessary artefacts for the first airworthiness board to authorise operating permits for training in Woomera South Australia and operations in Afghanistan. However, over the next 8 months JP129 turned to Nova Systems to provide technical leadership to their engineers and to deliver on schedule and to fulfil the capability promise of the Shadow 200 TUAS. In a very compressed complex acquisition project lifecycle, the project office may have contained intelligent and motivated staff that simply lacked specific experience and capacity to deliver a powerful new capability to its full potential.
Timely application of Nova Systems’ targeted UAS, system safety, airworthiness management, test and evaluation and engineering knowledge and experience provided capability for successful planning, supplementation and ongoing guidance.This resulted in delivery of capability, achievement of schedule and skill transfer to junior client engineering staff who are now ready to support the capability in service and enable future challenging technology introductions.