U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Home
  2. Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP)

Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP)


The detailed product support plan, including sustainment metrics, risks, costs, and analyses used to deliver the performance-based best value strategy covering the Integrated Product Support (IPS) elements.

General Information

DoD Directive (DoDD) 5000.01,The Defense Acquisition System, provides policy that addresses the Product Support Strategy (PSS) and LCSP, including:

  • Employ Performance-Based Acquisition Strategies - "To maximize competition, innovation, and interoperability, acquisition managers will consider and employ performance-based strategies for acquiring and sustaining products and services. “Performance-based strategy” means a strategy that supports an acquisition approach structured around the results to be achieved as opposed to the manner by which the work is to be performed. This approach will be applied to all new procurements and upgrades, as well as re-procurements of systems, subsystems, and spares that are procured beyond the initial production contract award." (para. 1.2k)
  • Plan for Product Support - "PSSs (Product Support Strategies) will be informed by a [Product Support] Business Case Analysis (PS BCA) conducted pursuant to Title 10 USC 2337 (now 10 USC 4324Life-cycle management and product support). The PSS is designed to facilitate enduring and affordable sustainment consistent with warfighter requirements. Support metrics will be established, tracked, and adjusted where needed to ensure product support objectives are achieved and sustained over the system life cycle. PSSs include the best use of public and private sector capabilities through government and industry partnering initiatives, in accordance with statutory requirements." (para. 1.2l)
  • Implement Effective Life-Cycle Management - "The Program Manager (PM) is accountable for achieving program life-cycle management objectives throughout the program life cycle. Planning for operations and support will begin at program inception, and supportability requirements will be balanced with other requirements that impact program cost, schedule, and performance. Performance based life-cycle product support implements life-cycle system management." (para 1.2m)
  • Implement Reliability and Maintainability by Design - "DoD Components, Milestone Decision Authorities (MDA), and acquisition leaders must implement fundamentals of design, manufacturing, and management that result in reliable and maintainable systems. These key fundamentals must be established early in the acquisition process and improved over the service life of the system." (para. 1.2n)

DoDI 5000.91, Product Support Management for the Adaptive Acquisition Framework, provides the following amplifying information:

  • While the PM is the single point of accountability for DoD systems support and total life cycle systems management for all programs, the PSM is responsible to the PM for life cycle product support. The PSM supports the PM in the development of a performance-based life cycle PSS required for all covered systems in the Defense Acquisition System (DAS), in accordance with DoDD 5000.01 and DoDI 5000.02Operation of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework." (para. 4.1d)
  • The PSS is the overarching strategy to meet sustainment requirements.  The PSM will document the initial PSS within the acquisition strategy at program inception, and then in the LCSP, at Milestone A or an equivalent decision event for covered systems pursuant to Section 2337 (now 4324) of Title 10, U.S.C.  The LCSP is the detailed product support plan, including sustainment metrics, risks, costs, and analyses used to deliver the performance-based best value strategy covering the Integrated Product Support (IPS) elements." (para. 4.3a)
  • The LCSP is the primary program management reference governing operations and support planning and execution from program inception to disposal. An LCSP is required for all covered systems and is the principal document establishing the system’s product support planning and sustainment, pursuant to Title 10 USC 2337 (now 4324) and will include (para. 4.3b):
  • A tailored LCSP may be used for all systems that are not covered by Title 10 USC 2337 (now 4324), as approved by the LCSP signature authority. At a minimum, a tailored LCSP will include (para. 4.3c):
    • Actions for achieving supportability and sustainment requirements
    • Methods to identify individuals responsible for sustainment planning
    • Required elements of sustainment planning
    • Timing of sustainment planning activities in the acquisition process
    • Measures and metrics to assess compliance with the LCSP
    • Actions to continuously monitor Product Support Integrators’ (PSI) and Product Support Providers’ (PSP) performance and ensure compliance with the LCSP
    • The content and implementation status of the product support solution (including any sustainment contracts) to achieve and maintain the product support
    • Description of the IP (e.g., technical data and software deliverables and associated license rights) necessary to enable cost-effective product support
    • Identification of PSPs and PSIs
    • Results of the PS BCA
    • Core depot analysis
    • Predictive analysis and modeling tools to improve Materiel Availability (Am) and reliability, increase Operational Availability (Ao) rates, and reduce O&S costs
    • A bed-down plan defining system quantity by year until system retirement and disposal
  • The PSM will implement the PSS via the LCSP through arrangements with various public and/or commercial PSIs and/or PSPs.  The PSM will use product support analysis data to support the PS BCA, PSS, and LCSP.  The PSM will conduct a PS BCA to assess courses of action being considered and document the recommended course of action in the LCSP that achieves readiness goals, manages risks, and is cost-effective. The PSM will collaborate with users, systems engineers, cost analysts, and other stakeholders to develop risks and assumptions unique to the systems. The LCSP will be reviewed and updated as necessary, following approval or revalidation of the PS BCA and before Sustainment Reviews (SRs) are conducted, to incorporate program bed-down plans through retirement and disposal of the system, and other updates as warranted. (para. 4.3d)

The DoD Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) Outline also provides extensive information on the requirements for the LCSP. 

  • It was developed to help those in the Defense Acquisition Workforce (DAW) visualize the critical elements of a LCSP, and to think systematically when developing and communicating the plan across the enterprise.
  • The current Version 3.0 was issued by DoD in October 2022, replacing the V2.0 published in January 2017 as an update to the original September 2011 version issued by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L)).
  • The LCSP Outline provides questions to stimulate critical thinking as well as examples for each LCSP section. It is not meant to be a fixed template to simply copy and paste information into, but to be used as a tool to help tailor the LCSP to meet each program’s unique needs. Consequently, font sizes, typefaces, and colors for the tables are not mandated.

In addition to the DoD Outline, the Services may establish supplemental guidance for LCSPs. For an example, see the Air Force's Software Tailored LCSP Outline.

To hear the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment’s perspective on the new LCSP Outline V3.0, please view the 5-minute video featuring the Honorable Christopher J. Lowman.  To hear the OSD Director of Product Support Policy's perspective, please view the 2-minute video featuring Mr. Anthony D. Lee II.

For additional information on V3.0, please consult our Rapid Deployment Training site and scroll to the LCSP Outline training link (RLOG 002).

For information on how Human Systems Integration (HSI) is incorporated in the LCSP as well as additional critical thinking questions, please consult the briefing charts located here.

Section 806 of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY23 made several noteworthy changes to 10 USC 4324 LCSP requirements, which are not yet reflected in policy (DoDI 5000.91) or guidance (DoD LCSP Outline). These changes include:

  • Before granting Milestone B (or equivalent) approval for covered systems, the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) must "have received views" on the LCSP from "appropriate materiel, logistics, or fleet representatives" (Note: the DoD LCSP Outline V3.0 already includes a signature block for Sustainment Command Representative or Sustainment Executive); the update to statute also includes a matching new requirement for Milestone C approval
  • Modifies the LCSP requirement for "technical data and Intellectual Property (IP) management plan for product support" to "IP management plan for product support" and adds "including requirements for technical data, software, and modular open system approaches"
  • Adds an LCSP requirement for "an estimate of the number of personnel needed to operate and maintain the covered system, including military personnel, Federal employees, contractors, and host nation support personnel (as applicable)"
  • Adds an LCSP requirement for "a description of opportunities for Foreign Military Sales"