Electronic Component Risk Mitigation for Vehicle Programs – Phase III

NCMS Project #: 142157

Problem: Obsolescence is a recurring issue in electronic control units.  Mitigating obsolescence is costly and presents a challenge with no standard practices currently in place.  The current solution is to spend money on end-of-life component buys and pay to store them at suppliers or storage facilities.  There is a durability and sustainment gap impacting the availability of electrical components.  The commercial industry does not perform the comprehensive and time-consuming unit/vehicle qualification process required in the defense industry, and even encourages shorter product lifecycles to drive product replacement sales.  This only adds to the acute issue of obsolescence within the defense industry. During initial phases of development, it became evident that an additional development effort is required to lower the integration risk of the Bradley Processing Unit (BPU) into both the A3 and A4 Bradley fleets as early in the development cycle as possible to mitigate missing or delaying critical System Qualification Test (SQT) milestones.

Benefit: The completion of these tasks will serve as an example to the commercial industry in providing obsolescence resistant redesigned LRUs/Shop Replaceable Unit (SRU)s.  Access to the engineering development and component selection process of the BPU would be applicable to commercial vehicles and ageing aircraft fleets on an as-needed basis.  This process provides benefits that are both economical and practical.

Solution/Approach: Phase III will pilot a process for concurrent unit level development/test and early system integration into both A3 and A4 System Integration Labs (SIL).  The objectives are to accelerate the timeline to address electronics obsolescence issues and delivery of modern components, develop and demonstrate an additional Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) set enabling parallel Design Verification Testing, production support, HALT testing and qualification dry runs; and develop and pilot prototype A3 and A4 installation kits.  This will help lower the risk of an accelerated path to obsolescence improvements and advance the development of computing processor assemblies required for general purpose processing, fire control, sensor fusion, video management, and remote/autonomous operation.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Enhance mission and warfighter readiness 
  • Increase lifecycle of electronic components 
  • Improve supply chain reliability and predictability 
  • Reduce maintenance and sustainment costs 

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), Integrated Logistics Support Center (ILSC) 
  • Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS) 
  • Project Manager Mounted Armored Vehicles (PM MAV) 
  • U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) 
  • Aviation Missile Center 

Industry Participation:

  • General Dynamics Mission Systems (GDMS)
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Obsolescence management and continued maintenance capability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement (hardware)