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This report presents a new approach for evaluating weapon system reliability and maintainability (R&M). The approach is based on the frequency with which faults in equipment degrade its ability to dependably deliver the full measure of its designed capabilities, and on the efficiency with which maintenance technicians remove faults, thereby restoring those capabilities. The authors identify promising opportunities for strengthening policies and procedures that could address these weaknesses and improve the overall management of R&M. To strengthen the support process, they make the following recommendations: (1) debrief pilots for all indications of faults, (2) track performance of avionics by equipment serial number, (3) share information about fault symptoms across maintenance levels (flight line to shop to depot), and (4) establish a special program to repair problem units or components. In addition to changes in the support process, the authors suggest some adjustments to the product improvement process and the acquisition process.

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