, 2023-01-19 21:12:30,
WASHINGTON — The Government Accountability Office is praising the military’s use of predictive maintenance — meaning repairs made before equipment breaks — to avoid accidents and save money, according to a recently released report.
This approach has long been encouraged; indeed, the Pentagon issued a policy two decades ago meant to promote predictive maintenance adoption. But GAO said it wasn’t until recent years the services began making progress.
The Army, for instance, first implemented predictive maintenance on AH-64 helicopters in 2005. By 2012, the service was using this approach with the UH-60 helicopter as well as some vehicle programs. By early last year, it had installed predictive maintenance capability on 65% of its CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter fleet.
Maj. Gen. Thomas O’Connor, the Army Aviation and Missile Command commander, told Defense News in an interview this month that the approach is bolstering safety and saving money.
Previously, it was far more challenging to catch early wear and tear on parts that could, if unaddressed, lead to serious or fatal accidents. Or the Army swapped out too early parts with plenty of life left.
Now, O’Connor said, the service is increasingly catching problems before they generate in-flight issues for its aircraft.
“Every day we are getting these red flags,” O’Connor said. “We’re removing components and replacing them earlier in order to save short-term readiness and prevent any catastrophic failures.”
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