Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center (AFMC)

Los Angeles Air Force Base, California 90009

Acquisition Management

Failure Modes, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA)

This regulation establishes policies and procedures and assigns responsibilities for SMC program office acquisitions to obtain Failure Mode, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) for spacecraft, launch vehicle, ground system and user equipment applications.

1. Policy.

SMC program offices shall require that functional Failure Mode, and Effects Analysis (FMEA) be performed for all acquisition systems, and hardware FMECA be performed for all mission and safety critical system functions. The analyses shall be sufficient to identify and control single point failure modes (SPFMs), and other design and manufacturing process weaknesses.

2. Background.

a. The FMECA process is part of the risk reduction effort of systems engineering. This process is the result of two types of analyses:

(1) Functional and hardware FMEA

(2) Criticality analysis (CA)

b. Functional FMEA identifies the potential impact of each functional failure mode on mission success, and operational performance, personnel and system safety, and test operations. Hardware FMEA identifies the potential impact of physical failures on each function's performance. In both functional and hardware FMEA, each potential failure mode is ranked by the severity of its effect in order that appropriate corrective actions may be taken to eliminate or control the high risk items. Criticality analysis is a procedure by which each potential failure mode is ranked according to the combined influence of severity and probability of occurrence.

c. The FMECA process aids successful systems engineering by identifying candidate items (e.g. SPFMs) for redundancy, robustness enhancement, processing and operating controls, and other methods of mitigating system failure. The process should provide a highly visible method of identifying potential root causes of failure, "brainstorming" possible compensating features, and documenting specific actions taken to reduce the possibility of failure occurrence. FMEA/FMECA is not intended to merely be a contractual "end product." Needed compensating features or special controls identified by the analysis must be pursued through all phases of design, procurement, fabrication, assembly, inspection, test, and mission planning.

d. MIL-STD-1543 (Reliability Program Requirements for Space and Launch Vehicles) Task 204; MIL-STD-785 (Reliability Program for Systems and Equipment Development and Production) Task 204; and MIL-STD-1629 (Procedures for Performing a Failure Mode, Effects, and Criticality Analysis) Tasks 101 and 102, provide guidance and contractual tasking to obtain FMECA. These standards only discuss general concepts on analysis approaches and documentation procedures. Therefore, each contractor must develop and use detailed "how-to" FMECA procedures to address the program requirements for specific product types (e.g., satellites, launch vehicles, ground and user equipment).

3. Responsibilities and Procedures.

a. Each SMC program office shall tailor FMEA/FMECA requirements to meet program, mission, and design specific requirements.

b. Each SMC program office shall ensure that contractors have detailed procedures for implementing a FMECA process, or suitable alternative analysis process approved by the System Program Director, in a timely manner to influence the design.

c. Each SMC program office shall obtain functional FMEA for all systems and hardware FMECA for all mission and safety critical system functions, or a suitable alternative analysis that is approved by the System Program Director.

d. Each SMC program office shall review contractor FMEA/FMECA, or suitable alternative analysis approved by the System Program Director, to assure compliance with program requirements.

e. Guidance for tailoring, performing, and evaluating the sufficiency of FMEA/FMECA is provided by The Aerospace Technical Operating Requirement, TOR-94(4033)-2 (Guidelines for a Standard Failure Mode, Effects, and Criticality Analysis Record).

f. Instructions for applying and executing this regulation are provided by Commander's Policy 540-15 (Systems Engineering Strategy). Any program director who does not apply and execute this regulation as required by SMCR 540-15 shall request a waiver from the Commander.


Lieutenant General, USAF