Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2016 Contents system under development, and con-
tinuous monitoring is necessary to
ensure that the government obtains
proper value. A fixed-price structure
is viable after cost and configuration
have been stabilized.
Keep in mind that:
1. Since PBL contracts require signifi-
cant staff to monitor, product offices
require significant staff on hand.
2. PBL contracts must evolve as the sys-
tem knowledge and configurations
mature; otherwise, the contractor
will not be incentivized to meet the
changing needs of the program.
3. Contractors prefer long-term, fixed-
4. The program office should study and
recommend contract types, contract
length and metrics, and incentives
to drive contractor performance in
efforts related to performance data
collection a nd a ssessment.
5. Product offices should be funded and
staffed so that they can effectively
manage PBL contracts.
LL _391: Develop a system reliability
model (SRM) using reliability block
The Center for Reliability Growth, a
joint effort between the U.S. Army
Materiel Systems Analysis Activity and
the U.S . Army Evaluation Center aimed
at improving reliability for Army sys-
tems, recommended the use of an SR M,
a graphical depiction of a system with
an underlying analysis, such as a reli-
ability block diagram, a fault tree or an
event tree, that identifies critical weak-
nesses in the system design. Reliability
and design teams can use the SRM to
influence and trace changes to the sys-
tem design as well as track operational
and sustainment costs.
The contractor should develop an SRM
using reliability block diagram analysis.
The SRM should consist of a system’s
lowest identifiable functions or elements
and their relationships to one another.
It should encompass all hardware and
commercial off-the-shelf equipment,
non-developmental items, government-
furnished equipment, software, human
factors and manufacturing. The SRM
should be used to generate and update
reliability allocations and to identify crit-
ical elements in the system design.
LL _589: Mechanical systems such
a s suspensions, drivelines and cha s-
sis systems (doors, hydraulics, etc.)
should be designed with weight
growth in mind.
Many systemic failure modes seen in
the field relate to vehicle weight, spe-
cifically the addition of armor or other
Historical system weight growth should
be investigated and new systems should
be designed to accommodate simi-
lar weight growth where possible. Test
and evaluation phases should evaluate
vehicles at potential up-weighted con-
figurations to identify possible future
problems with add-ons .
LL _896: Significant reliability
growth is achievable through proper
contract planning and management.
A countermeasures system was fielded as a
quick reaction capability in response to a
critical need in theater. Despite the tech-
nology’s effectiveness and the progra m’s
high availability rates, system reliability
was not optimal because of an emphasis
on accelerated acquisition and fielding.
Deliberate contract planning and man-
agement have resulted in significant
reliability growth over the past five years.
Reliability has increased 162 percent
since original fielding, from 309 hours
mean time between mission-affecting
failure in 2010 to 808 hours in 2015.
This improvement is largely attributed to
the government’s emphasis on the Fail-
ure Reporting, A nalysis and Corrective
Action System (FR ACAS).
Including robust FR ACAS requirements
in the prime contractor’s statement of
work and close government manage-
ment of the FR ACAS program can
significantly increase system reliabil-
ity. Program managers should require
a full FRACAS investigation on every
field return and require incorporation of
corrective actions into the repair and pro-
For more information on these and other
Army Lessons Learned, go to the ALLP at
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MR. NATHAN HERBERT is an opera-
tions research analyst with the U.S . Army
Materiel Systems Analysis Activity at Aber-
deen Proving Ground, Maryland. He holds
an M.S . in applied and computational
mathematics from Johns Hopkins Univer-
sity and a B.S . in mathematics from
Pennsylvania State University. He is
Level II certified in engineering.
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