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By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, Air Force Science and Technology Board, Committee on Aging Avionics in Military Aircraft

Extending the lifetime of an airframe has confirmed tough and dear. Extending the lifetime of an avionics method, even if, is without doubt one of the most crucial and hard features of extending overall airplane process lifetimes. severe parts exit of construction or develop into out of date, and lots of former providers of military-grade parts have long past into bankruptcy. From 1986 to 1996, for instance, the proportion of discontinued military/aerospace digital units approximately doubled- from 7.5 percentage to 13.5 percentage. moreover, legacy avionics platforms, that have been designed to satisfy specifications of the earlier, often lack the whole strength to accomplish new missions, meet new threats, or practice good within the new information-intensive battlefield environments.

As the legacy airplane fleet a long time, avionics structures turns into progressively more tricky to help and hold. while the army as soon as supplied a wide and ecocnomic marketplace for the electronics undefined, the army electronics industry this present day constitutes under 1 percentage of the industrial industry. hence, the army needs to more and more depend upon advertisement off-the-shelf (COTS) applied sciences for its avionics and software program. even though COTS goods are often more cost-effective than related goods designed particularly to fulfill army necessities, the technology-refresh cycle for COTS is usually 18 months or much less, which exacerbates the obsolescence challenge for plane whose lifetimes are measured in a long time. the quick refresh cycle is pushed ordinarily by means of the super advances in computers, which include an expanding percent of avionics content.

In reaction to a request via the Assistant Secretary of the Air strength for Acquisition, the nationwide learn Council convened the Committee on getting older Avionics in army airplane, below the auspices of the Air strength technology and expertise Board, to behavior this research. This file summarizes the following:

- assemble info from DoD, different executive organizations, and business assets at the prestige of, and concerns surrounding, the getting older avionics challenge. this could contain briefings from and discussions with senior executives and army acquisition and help group of workers. part of this job should still comprise a evaluation of Air strength Materiel Command's learn on diminishing production assets to suggest how one can mitigate avionics obsolescence.

- offer concepts for brand new techniques and leading edge options to enhance administration of getting older avionics, with the objective of aiding the Air strength to augment supportability and substitute of getting older and obsolescing avionics and reduce linked existence cycle bills. touch upon the department of know-how accountability among DoD and industry.

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Extra info for Aging Avionics in Military Aircraft (Compass Series)

Sample text

Figure 2-3 shows funding for avionics modernization from the FY01 President’s Budget Request (PBR) (PBR, 2000). As Figure 2-3 shows, funding would increase through FY01 and decrease thereafter. According to the committee’s analysis, however, the avionics investments already approved in the FY01 PBR will cost an additional $5 billion beyond FY05, which is inconsistent with the decrease after FY01. Figure 2-4 shows a breakdown of funds already committed to out-year costs by weapon system, which are dominated by modifications to the C-130.

The recent use of award fees is a step in the right direction, but the most successful approaches are based on positive incentives through shared savings (Ebersole, 2000). Contracts that involve generous shared savings of any cost to the government would create a “win-win” environment for all participants. With the advent of MOSA, cost reductions will be more likely, and both government and industry will be motivated to seek innovative ways to improve their performance. A mutually agreed upon TOC model can also provide incentives for reductions in TOC.

Unless the manufacturer is funded to procure all parts during the initial years of production, the interval of 11 years from first to final installation almost guarantees that the parts will be obsolete in future years. Unfortunately, MOSA was not incorporated into this redesign, so the cost of changes will be higher than they might have been. In areas like avionics in which technologies are evolving rapidly, it makes little sense for design and implementation cycles to stretch out for many years.

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