Improvements Needed in Avionics/Electronics Equipment Acquisition Management

PSAD-78-105: Published: May 12, 1978. Publicly Released: May 12, 1978.

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Studies by the Department of Defense (DOD) of management of the development and procurement of airborne electronics equipment (avionics) revealed a consensus that: (1) too many similar avionics systems are being developed and procured, resulting in proliferation and higher costs than necessary; (2) the services have neither the policies nor management continuity to acquire reliable avionics equipment for common application among weapon programs; and (3) low reliability of avionics is often a factor in the readiness of operating weapon systems and could hinder effective military operations. The studies highlight increased standardization as a key to reducing proliferation and high cost and to increasing the reliability of avionics. DOD officials estimated that in excess of $15 billion is spent annually for developing, buying, and supporting avionics. The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is formulating a policy which will require maximum standardization, but progress in issuing this policy has been slow. Emphasis should be increased toward standardization of avionics and other electronics items by accelerating the efforts to develop, issue, and fully implement a standardization policy. The development of standard items separate from the acquisition of individual weapon systems should be encouraged. The Office of the Secretary of Defense should monitor the development and procurement of avionics and other electronic items to ensure that the policy is implemented.

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