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The Effects of Equipment Age on Mission-Critical Failure Rates: A study of M1 Tanks

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Aging equipment has become a key concern of Army leaders striving to maintain high operational readiness. Army leaders anticipate that equipment age will pose a continually increasing challenge over the lengthy period in which current equipment is expected to remain in the Armys fleet, anticipated until about 2030 in some cases, as it develops and fully fields its next generation of forces termed the future force. In response, the Army has initiated a recapitalization RECAP program to rebuild andor upgrade selected systems, such that combat capabilities are maintained and maintenance costs are kept affordable. To date, the Army plans to rebuild or upgrade 17 systems-including the M1 Abrams, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, M88 Recovery Vehicle, and other systems that are expected to remain in the inventory for the next 15 to 20 years Brownlee and Keane, 2002 Army Recapitalization Management, 2003. These modernization plans continue to evolve, however. To help determine the scale of RECAP required to maintain the desired level of operational readiness capability, and to facilitate RECAP program design, statistical analyses of the relationship between age and Army equipment failures are needed. This report describes a RAND Arroyo Center study, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology OASAALT, on the impact of age on the Ml Abrams mission-critical failure rate. The Ml Abrams is of particular interest because it is often considered the centerpiece of the Armys heavy ground forces, because it has a high average fleet age that will continue to advance, and because it is scheduled to remain a key part of the force for as many as 30 more years. Consequently, it has been one of the key systems being targeted by the RECAP program.

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  • Combat Vehicles

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