Faced with dearth of replacement part suppliers, Air Force aims to make itself more self-sufficient
The Air Force’s aircraft fleet is getting on in years. One problem with that is that replacement parts are becoming more expensive and more difficult to find, since many of the original manufacturers don’t even exist anymore. But the service is launching a two-year pilot project that may help solve the problem.
As a general matter, the vast majority of the dollars the military spends on large weapons systems has nothing to do with their upfront procurement costs: 70 percent of a program’s lifecycle expenses are connected to long-term sustainment, including spare parts and maintenance-related labor.