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Applying total life cycle systems management principles to the definition of health management and prognostics provisions for military propulsion systems requires a holistic approach to their life cycle: development, utilization, maintenance, modification, replacement and disposal of the propulsion system. This approach must be founded on the processes used to support and manage safe and cost effective operation of the air vehicle, as they relate to the propulsion system. This perspective has profound implications for the capabilities required of the health management and prognostics provisions for the propulsion system, driving us to the realization that such provisions must have a protean ability to anticipate and adapt to the unexpected and to evolving asset management processes. The fundamental insight is that the essential element of propulsion safety and affordable readiness is a propulsion system configuration that is suitable and robust in changeable operational scenarios, and that this configuration will change over time in response to emerging operational requirements and unanticipated deficiencies in design, development and manufacture. The primary purpose of the health management and prognostic system is to function as the tool that manages this dynamic and mitigates the impacts on safety, readiness and cost, considering all significant elements including the logistical and maintenance footprint. In the process, the health management and prognostic system must provide timely and actionable information to multiple user communities with distinct needs and priorities. The result is a challenging agenda for the designer and developer of propulsion health management and prognostic systems.