Engine Sustainment Study

MITRE evaluates benefits and provides recommends for adopting non-Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, to include Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA), to decrease cost, repair time, and increase readiness in the United States Air Force (USAF).

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The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) challenges the Department of Defense (DoD) to increase readiness in this era of the great power competition; however, any strategy to recover and maintain readiness levels required by the NDS must also include long-term cost control conditions. MITRE performed a study focused on long-term readiness and sustainment for the United States Air Force (USAF); more specifically, commercial derivative engines, and MITRE’s efforts to quantify the benefits— as well as impediments— to adoption of reverse engineered (PMA) parts that have not been licensed by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and provides recommendations to resolve these impediments.

Today, all major U.S. air carriers extensively use PMA parts in their fleets to increase competition, reduce costs, and ensure a robust supply chain of parts is readily available. These parts are supplied/manufactured from third-party companies focused on PMA using both OEM licensed and unlicensed activities.

The result of this study is a recognition that adoption of PMA parts use by the USAF is not a simple activity, especially since the USAF is its own certifying authority and aircraft operator. In fact, the USAF previously attempted to leverage PMA, but was not successful due to numerous challenges encountered. The findings presented in this paper serve to highlight what the key barriers are and, in turn, the recommendations that will allow the USAF to take advantage of PMA parts.