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Maintenance Plan

ALCL 078


A more detailed description of maintenance decisions on each repairable item candidate within the system Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). There typically are a family of maintenance plans covering each major subsystem, e.g., the radar subsystem and hydraulic subsystem. The maintenance plan is based on the Level of Repair Analysis (LORA) and is the basis for each of the Integrated Product Support Elements.

General Information


DoD Directive 4151.18, Maintenance of Military Materiel, requires "maintenance programs for DoD materiel shall be structured and managed to achieve inherent performance, safety and reliability levels" and "are structured for meeting readiness and sustainability objectives."

The development of a maintenance plan falls under the Maintenance Planning and Management IPS Element. Per the IPS Element Guidebook, a system or equipment's maintenance plan evolves from the maintenance concept. It prescribes maintenance actions, including intervals; repair levels and locations; personnel numbers and skills; technical data; tools; equipment; facilities; and spares and repair parts for each significant item of a system or equipment.

A system’s progression from requirements identification to design, development, test, production, operations, sustainment, and ultimately disposal is determined by a wide range of analyses conducted within the Systems Engineering (SE) and Product Support Analysis (PSA) processes. These analyses include system analysis/engineering at the hardware-operating-support trade level and establish boundaries, conditions, or goals for both engineering performance and other IPS Element concepts and plans. These, in turn, affect design, operational, and support concepts, identify product support resource requirements, and relate design, operational, and supportability characteristics to operational effectiveness, suitability, and affordability.

Tie to Joint Capability Integration Development System (JCIDS)

Key to this progression are the JCIDS-developed Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and the maintenance concept. The CONOPS addresses the problem being considered, the mission, the commander’s intent, an operational overview, functions or effects to be carried out/achieved, and the roles and responsibilities of affected organizations. Typical information includes mission scenarios stating specific operational requirements, such as operating hours, environmental conditions, and mission essential functions, serving to identify factors that influence the design and its suitability factors, such as reliability. The maintenance concept supports the CONOPS by defining maintenance policy, identifying the levels of maintenance, such as organizational, intermediate, and depot, and the maintenance capabilities at each level. This information serves to define the maintenance organization and it capabilities. Together the documents establish design and sustainment boundaries for minimizing both the number and duration of outages.

More on Product Support Analysis

MIL-HDBK-502A, Product Support Analysis, and its attendant Product Support Data/Database provide the framework, activities and data for the SE-based PSA process. The concepts, boundaries, and data reflected in the CONOPS and the maintenance concept are incorporated into SE and PSA processes for use in the initial conduct of the following PSA activities during the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase, and finalization during the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase (or equivalent phases for other Adaptive Acquisition Framework pathways). These activities and their associated PSA activity number are listed below:

DoD Instruction 5000.91, Product Support Management for the Adaptive Acquisition Framework, requires the Product Support Manager (PSM) to work with "the cross-functional team to conduct a thorough analysis using analytical tools and modeling techniques to facilitate informed decisions on ... maintenance and maintenance planning."

Maintenance Plan Content Requirements

Activity 12 provides the detailed identification of requirements for all IPS elements to operate and support the new system/equipment, as documented in the maintenance plan. These include:

  • Maintenance level, using the results of the LORA or similar analysis
  • Number of personnel, skill levels, skill specialties, man-hours, and elapsed time
  • Spares, repair parts, and consumables required
  • Support equipment; Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE); calibration; and Test Program Sets (TPS) required
  • Training and training materiel required along with recommended training locations and rationale (Activity 12.4)
  • Required Facilities and Infrastructure
  • Interval for and the frequency of activity performance in the intended operational environment. The annual operating basis for activity frequencies should be carefully selected and widely understood to prevent misuse of the information generated by this activity
  • Packaging, Handling, Storage, and Transportation requirements.
  • Identification of the environmental impacts of the task, including the use of hazardous materials, generation of hazardous waste, and release of air and water pollutants
  • Product disposal


The maintenance plan is driven by the Maintenance Planning and Management process, and this includes consideration of the system design, the CONOPS, and a detailed understanding of how the system breaks down via insight collected though a FMECA, LORA, and follow-on MTA. These detailed analyses form the foundation for developing a solid and executable maintenance plan and Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) that will deliver required availability within cost targets. Therefore, the outputs of the Maintenance Planning and Management process (e.g., maintenance plans and associated task requirements) are the linchpins to an effective Product Support Strategy (PSS).

Service Policy

The Military Services have established similar policy, including:

Department of the Air Force Instruction 63-101/20-101, Integrated Life Cycle Management - "The PM ensures Reliability Centered Maintenance Analysis or similar data-driven analysis processes are employed throughout the life cycle to determine [the] proper balance of planned and unplanned maintenance" and "applies CBM+ to improve the reliability and maintenance effectiveness of DoD systems and components."

Army Regulation 700-127, Integrated Product Support - requires the program office to "develop the maintenance plan using RCM early in the design process."

Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5000.2G, Department of the Navy Implementation of the Defense Acquisition System and the Adaptive Acquisition Framework - requires for "Urgent Capability, Major Capability Acquisition, or Middle Tier of Acquisition programs, reliability and maintainability engineering will include "maintainability considerations, including design for maintainability, reliability-centered maintenance planning" and other key factors.