Cover: Challenges and Issues with the Further Aging of U.S. Air Force Aircraft

Challenges and Issues with the Further Aging of U.S. Air Force Aircraft

Policy Options for Effective Life-Cycle Management of Resources

Published Mar 24, 2009

by Jean R. Gebman


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Over the next 20 years, the further aging of already-old aircraft will introduce challenges and issues for aircraft operators, including the U.S. Air Force. This report identifies those challenges and issues and explores policy options for addressing them in ways that can contribute to effective life-cycle management of resources. The technical challenges relate to structures, propulsion, and systems. The institutional challenges include limitations on independent verification of fleet status and future condition, limitations on information needed for engineering analyses including risk assessment, and an overall scarcity of resources. The report uses a systems-engineering paradigm that breaks the set of challenges and issues down into their major elements and then analyzes how each element relates to values that are important to the customer. Such a value structure can help decisionmakers set resource-allocation policies and priorities.

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The research in this report was prepared for the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR Force.

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