savings has to be consistent with DOD business practices and culture, including financial management practices.
• The transition from initial design and production to depot and field maintainers is difficult and needs attention.
• What is lacking for accurate forecasts of maintenance/sustainment needs?
—Tools to do assessment in the field; one example is handheld tools to facilitate capture of status data at the time that maintenance is done.
—Better tools to provide more complete data that could reduce mission-incapable (MICAP) hours and time in depot.
—Remote inspection technologies that do not require dismantling platforms to get access.
—Means to address the cost of getting nondestructive evaluation technologies through engineering development.
• Which data should be captured to have a digital data thread adequate for life-cycle sustainment?
• What policy and implementation can be considered for DOD purchase of data rights?
• Sustainment (maintenance) S&T in areas such as corrosion and inspection:
—What is it? How should sustainment S&T be defined?
—Not all sustainment S&T is maintenance-oriented. It should also include upgrading as part of sustainment.
—Improved fundamental understanding of corrosion (6.1 research) could enable design to mitigate corrosion rather than the trial-and-error approach of screening coatings. The problem is similar for cracking.
—Value of doing S&T—why is funding for sustainment S&T hard to get? What are incentives for doing it?
—Improve transitioning of S&T results to practice (e.g., make better engineering trade-offs using existing technology).
—Distinguish between funding to develop new technologies for sustainment and funding the application of existing and new technologies to real-world problems.
• Cost/benefit models to explore policy and technology alternatives:
—Issue: DOD systems are not bought on the basis of their life-cycle cost.
• Need technology solutions that are consistent with how DOD does business and how programs are funded.
—Proposed solutions need to be viable in the current system.
—How much culture change is necessary to transition from current practice to better sustainment methodology? What can the military services and DOD do to change the culture?