Reliability and Maintainability Requirements Need More Emphasis in Weapon System Development

MASAD-81-25: Published: Mar 31, 1981. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1981.

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Reliability and maintainability (R&M) has become a key issue in a number of new and important weapon systems. GAO reviewed efforts by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Military Services to improve the R&M of their weapon systems.

R&M has not received appropriate emphasis in the decisions to design, produce, and field weapons system. GAO believes that the weapon system development process could be enhanced by: (1) establishing adequate management information systems to develop realistic R&M requirements; (2) establishing valid R&M requirements for each system entering the research and development cycle; (3) testing operational reliability rather than hardware reliability; (4) conducting earlier independent R&M demonstrations; and (5) emphasizing accurate and realistic R&M reporting at all levels of the decisionmaking process.

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