//Clay Appleton, GM-15, DAF (Ret)
Clay Appleton, GM-15, DAF (Ret)

Project Description

Clay Appleton

Key Specialties

  • Integrated Avionics Sensors and Architecture

  • Military Airworthiness Certification

  • Technical Engineering Management

  • Program Management


Clay Appleton

GM-15, Department of the Air Force (Retired)

Mr. Clay Appleton has over 40 years of acquisition experience, including roles as the former Fighter Attack Systems Wing director of engineering; F-16 technical director; Aeronautical Systems Center Engineering Directorate (now AFLCMC/EN-EZ) systems engineering technical director; and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) site director and director of engineering. He was also the JSF source selection technical factor lead and the F-22 avionics systems engineering advisor. Mr. Appleton has chaired numerous executive independent review teams (EIRTs) and provides subject matter expertise in systems engineering, integrated avionics architecture, radar systems engineering, military airworthiness certification, and weapons integration to both government and industry customers.

Significant Career Accomplishments

  • Led the technical team of 78 multi-service and international representatives through the F-35 system development and demonstration (SDD) source selection.
  • Led all systems engineering process implementation and operational safety, suitability, and effectiveness (OSS&E) for the F-15, F-16, and A-10.
  • Directed the first cross-functional integrated product team (IPT) for US Air Force (USAF) and European Air Force F-16 avionics modernization.
  • Led USAF airworthiness certification basis development for the Block 60 F-16 and the Airborne Laser.

Key Positions

  • Director of Engineering, Fighter Attack Systems Wing, Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) (now AFLCMC/WW)
  • Technical Director, F-16 System Program Office, ASC (now AFLCMC/WWM)
  • Director, F-35 Support Office, ASC (now AFLCMC/WWJ)
  • Systems Engineering Technical Director, ASC/EN (now AFLCMC/EN)


  • MS, Systems Engineering, Wright State University
  • BS, Systems Engineering, Wright State University
  • Professional Military Education (PME), CDLAMP, Ft. McNair