Chapter 13Sustainment Related Models and Trade Studies

John E. MacCarthy

Systems Engineering Education Program, Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Andres Vargas

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA


The sustainment key performance parameter (KPP) (Availability) is as critical to a program's success as cost, schedule, and performance.

(DoDI 5000.02 (2015))

13.1 Introduction

This chapter develops a number of “first-order” sustainment-related models1 for a relatively simple fictional remotely piloted air vehicle (i.e., drone) system that illustrates modeling techniques that are currently used to support reliability, availability, and maintainability (RAM) analysis, total life cycle cost analyses, and cost–RAM performance trade-off analyses. While the models developed in this chapter are based on simplifying assumptions and fictional data, they can provide a modeling framework for more complex RAM and life cycle cost analysis of real systems that use real data and fewer simplifying assumptions.

Sustainment trade studies are important from two perspectives – life cycle cost and system performance. Generally, 50% (or more) of a typical system's life cycle cost is associated with operations and maintenance (INCOSE, 2015). A large portion of these costs are typically associated with maintenance (which depends on system reliability). In addition, system availability (which depends on reliability ...

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