Supporting Combined-Arms Combat Capability with Shared Electronic Maintenance Facilities

by William G. Wild


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The U.S. Army shows signs of shifting away from using "weapon-system-specific" test diagnostic equipment and toward using more broadly capable versions of equipment that can isolate faults within subsystems and components from a number of different weapon systems (e.g., the proposed integrated family of test equipment, IFTE). As a result, weapon systems that once had uncontested access to specialized test equipment will now be relying on a common facility, and, hence, their availabilities will become linked. This study focuses on two systems — the M1 tank and M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicle — that are linked through a common reliance on direct support electrical systems test set (DSESTS) test equipment. The author finds that greater weapon system availability and more robust support may be attainable at constant cost by emphasizing resources that are fungible across weapon systems, such as test equipment and improved theater transportation for selected high-priority items. The report also demonstrates a multiple weapon systems methodology that is instrumental in identifying such potential improvements.

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