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 expensive. Extending the lifetime of an avionics procedure, despite the fact that, is without doubt one of the most important and tough points of extending overall airplane process lifetimes. severe elements exit of creation or develop into out of date, and lots of former providers of military-grade parts have long gone into chapter 11. From 1986 to 1996, for instance, the share of discontinued military/aerospace digital units approximately doubled- from 7.5 percentage to 13.5 percentage. furthermore, legacy avionics platforms, that have been designed to satisfy requisites of the previous, often lack the total power to accomplish new missions, meet new threats, or practice good within the new information-intensive battlefield environments.

As the legacy airplane fleet a while, avionics platforms turns into increasingly more tough to help and keep. while the army as soon as supplied a wide and ecocnomic marketplace for the electronics undefined, the army electronics industry at the present time constitutes below 1 percentage of the industrial industry. accordingly, the army needs to more and more depend upon advertisement off-the-shelf (COTS) applied sciences for its avionics and software program. even if COTS goods are in most cases less costly than related goods designed specially to fulfill army requisites, the technology-refresh cycle for COTS is sometimes 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 generally by means of the super advances in computers, which include an expanding percent of avionics content.

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

- assemble info from DoD, different executive enterprises, and business assets at the prestige of, and matters 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 task may still contain a assessment of Air strength Materiel Command's learn on diminishing production resources to suggest how one can mitigate avionics obsolescence.

- supply ideas for brand spanking new methods and cutting edge innovations to enhance administration of getting older avionics, with the objective of assisting the Air strength to augment supportability and substitute of getting older and obsolescing avionics and reduce linked lifestyles cycle charges. touch upon the department of know-how accountability among DoD and industry.

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

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However, certain mandated flight-safety upgrades have little impact on solving the problems caused by highTOC avionics subsystems. • Obtaining front-end funding to reduce TOC is difficult. Long Acquisition and Upgrade Cycles Avionics technology is advancing at a much faster pace than DoD acquisition cycles (Figure 4-1) because avionics product cycles are driven by the commercial market, whereas DoD acquisition cycles are complex Peak total market sales Integrated circuit supply DoD system life cycle Integrated circuit life cycle Refine integrated circuit design Integrated circuit birth Nonavailability 0 5 15 10 Years FIGURE 4-1 Life-cycle mismatch.

5 0 1999 2000 2001 2002 Year 2003 2004 2005 FIGURE 2-2 Projected depot-level avionics operations and maintenance costs. S. Air Force, 2000b. $250 million to $275 million per year is needed to address the aging avionics problem (personal communication from Lt. Gen. R. Raggio, Commander, Aeronautical Systems Center, July 2, 2000). In fact, avionics systems are the second largest component of Air Force O&M costs after engines. Because of the growing DMS/OP problem, depotlevel support costs for avionics are projected to increase by about 50 percent in the next five years (Figure 2-2).

The committee was in general agreement that this software environment will continue to degrade in the future. The growing disparity between the supply and demand of software engineers, the mismatch between old and new design methodologies faced by an aging workforce, the tug of war between government and industry for skilled personnel, and the increasing complexity of software system, will create an even more serious problem for avionics maintenance in the future. , tools and processes) is, and will be, essential.

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