Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Christopher Boitz
In an age of shrinking defense budgets and longer
lives of aircraft, new systems and techniques help
the U.S. military maintain aging systems
By Charlotte Adams
he U.S. Air aging airplanes need careful tending especially their
airframes and engines. But the avionics systems in this age of mass-market
electronics are often a headache as well. Obsolescence is far more common today than in the days of mil-spec. And even the newest upgrades
face these issues before they are fielded. But the military has adapted and
now wields a number of weapons. While these defeat obsolescence, they make
There are two kinds of obsolescence material and operational. Material
obsolescence is a fact of life in the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) era. Although
this can affect whole configurations of aircraft, it does not drive major upgrades.
Those are prompted by the threat of operational obsolescence. Because of budget constraints, program offices often afford regular component refreshes.
Instead, they study data from many sources and let this information and analysis based on it guide the initiation of component upgrades.
is a two-edged says Gary Hebert, deputy system program
20 Avionics Magazine November 2012