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New procurement strategy for technology insertion

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1 Author(s)
N. W. Lareau ; Georgia Tech. Res. Inst., Atlanta, GA, USA

Even in times of increased defense spending, defense systems have been required to operate beyond their originally estimated lifetimes. Periodic technology insertion helps to remedy parts and performance obsolescence by keeping a fielded system more in tune with commercial designs. The benefits of keeping a design close to the commercial marketplace are many, but the primary results are reduced parts costs and reduced design labor costs. Unfortunately, a recurring problem with technology insertion efforts is that the government does not own the data rights to the original design, which makes form, fit, and functional compatibility requirements difficult to fulfill by any but the original supplier of the system. If government ownership is maintained by using an independent design agent, lower costs are possible, since the resultant system is not tied to a single manufacturing source. With governmental ownership of the design, the government can shop for low cost production. A downside to governmental ownership of the design exists if selecting a production source and first-article qualification lengthens the procurement cycle. These delays build obsolescence into the system. This problem can be eliminated by selecting a preferred manufacturing source early in the technology insertion design phase. Having the preferred source manufacture the first articles allows the reprocurement data package, the design, and the production line to be qualified simultaneously. This paper details the use of technology insertion, government ownership of independent design agent produced designs, and preferred manufacturing sources as the basis for a cohesive business plan to economically reduce parts and performance obsolescence problems in aging military systems. Actual results for the use of this plan in several recent technology insertion projects are discussed

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronics Conference, 1996. NAECON 1996., Proceedings of the IEEE 1996 National  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

20-23 May 1996