This study focuses primarily on a comparison of test-phase results with the subsequent operational experience of the A-7D attack aircraft to determine when component reliability and maintenance problems were revealed, what kinds of problems showed up in the various stages of the weapon-system life cycle, and the impact these problems had on operational availability and operating cost. It is found that earlier correction of critical problems should reduce operational and maintenance costs and increase the capability of the system enough to permit a net improvement in the overall capability and life-cycle cost of the system. An extended, comprehensive initial operational test and evaluation would allow identification of additional reliability and maintenance problems. A better approach to development of avionics components and related software is needed. Finally, data systems should be improved as necessary and exploited more fully.