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Valuing Programmed Depot Maintenance Speed: An Analysis of F-15 PDM

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Technical rept.

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The U.S. Air Force asked the RAND Corporation to study capability-based programming. As an initial case study, RAND evaluated the F-15 programmed depot maintenance PDM process as it occurs at the Warner Robins WR Air Logistics Center ALC at Robins Air Force Base in central Georgia. RAND studied the recent history of F-15 PDM at WR, including WRs recent implementation of lean approaches. Depot maintenance funding influences capability. Aircraft enter programmed depot maintenance PDM on a regular schedule. The level of resources devoted to PDM influences both how much work is done in PDM i.e., how much more reliable or capable aircraft are after leaving PDM and the duration of PDM. Other things being equal, one expects a better-funded process to run more quickly e.g., there are fewer queues within the depot and more spare parts available. In this report, RAND focuses on the issue of PDM speed. When PDM is lengthy, more aircraft are tied up in PDM at any given point in time fewer aircraft are available to operating commands. It would be desirable to expedite PDM aircraft would spend a greater fraction of their lives in the possession of operating commands and available for usage, if required. In this report, they present a new methodology to estimate the value of accelerated PDM. For a commercial airline, calculating the value of expedited maintenance is relatively straightforward a commercial airliner is expected to generate a certain amount of profit each day or hour it operates. Lost profit forms a benchmark for the value of accelerating commercial airliner PDM. Military aircraft lack such a profit metric. Yet, some valuation of military aircraft in operating command possession is necessary if the Air Force is to assess the desirability of investing resources in expediting PDM or saving money by slowing PDM. The methodology presented in this report is intended to inform depot-level cost-benefit analysis.

Subject Categories:

  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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