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Product Support Arrangements (PSA)

ALCL 116


A contract, task order, or any other type of contractual arrangement, or any type of agreement or non-contractual arrangement with or within the Federal government, for the performance of sustainment or logistics support required for major weapon systems, subsystems, or components. The term includes arrangements for any of the following: Performance-Based Logistics (PBL); sustainment support; contractor logistics support; life cycle product support; or weapon systems product support.

General Information


The foundational documents that enact and implement the relationships across the DoD Product Support Business Model (PSBM) framework are called PSAs. It begins with the Warfighter (user) defined performance requirements that are initiated through the Joint Capability Integration and Development System (JCIDS). The Product Support Manager (PSM) (acting on behalf of the Program Manager (PM)) incorporates the appropriate needs and constraints in arrangements with Product Support Integrators (PSI). They, in turn, ensure that the necessary performance requirements to meet their arrangements are properly passed to the Product Support Providers (PSP), who accomplish the product support activities.

Types of PSAs

PSAs, which include a "contract, task order, or any type of other contractual arrangement", are used to spell out performance requirements, metrics, incentives, and deliverables between government and commercial sector (or between industry and industry) organizations for sustainment or logistics support required for major weapon systems, subsystems, or components.  (Note: 10 USC 4324, formerly known as 10 USC 2337, replaced the term "major weapon system" with the term "covered system")

PSAs which include "any type of agreement or non-contractual arrangement within the Federal Government" are also used to spell out these performance requirements, metrics, incentives, and deliverables between government organizations. These intragovernmental arrangements can include things such as Memorandums of Agreement (MOA), Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), Service Level Agreements (SLA), and so on.


PSAs are used to ensure performance expectations of all product support entities are clearly articulated. PSAs require defined outcomes and differ from a best effort type approach. PSAs provide a clear delineation of performance outcomes, corresponding support requirements, and the resources required to achieve both; they create a clear understanding of the outcomes and the commitments required to achieve those outcomes among all stakeholder parties. Well-designed PSAs should include:

  • Clearly understood cost, schedule, and performance objectives and metrics to achieve documented Warfighter requirements
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Conflict adjudication procedures
  • Reliability, availability, maintainability, supportability, and cost improvement targets
  • Authoritative data sources and collection/update frequency
  • Arrangement terms and conditions
  • Planned flexibility
  • Unforeseen circumstances identification and management
  • Meeting cadence
  • Performance reviews
  • Incentives and penalties

(Source: Product Support Manager (PSM) Guidebook, para 2.3)

PSAs as Integral Aspect of the DoD PSBM Framework

The PSBM defines the framework in which the planning, development, implementation, and execution of product support for a weapon system, subsystem, or component is accomplished over its life cycle. The PSBM describes the methodology promoted by DoD to facilitate optimized product support by balancing weapon system availability and ownership cost and encouraging the most advantageous use of an integrated defense industrial base. The model, as discussed in detail in paragraph 2.1 and Figure 4 of the DoD PSM Guidebook and a related PSBM article provides a clearly delineated description of the roles, relationships, accountability, responsibility and business agreements among the managers, integrators, and providers of product support. Those roles and responsibilities are portrayed, consistent with their level of accountability and responsibility, and are clearly linked at each level by well crafted, comprehensive PSAs.

For additional PSAs insights, recommend also visiting the PBL Community of Practice (PBL CoP) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on PSAs. Several key questions answered there include:

Question: What is the purpose of a PSA?

Answer: To enable PBL, the following must be documented: a) An acceptable range of weapon system performance objectives, b) Corresponding support necessary to meet that level of performance, and c) Formal, disciplined and quantified arrangement to delineate anticipated level of required support. PSAs accomplish this by establishing the framework for the coordination and alignment of resources in support of customers. PSAs also help ensure that promised service levels can be fulfilled, as well as help in aligning resources to the service levels. Ultimately, however, they are used to document expected performance outcomes.

Question: What kinds of PSAs are available and what do they look like?

Answer: PSAs document terms, objectives, and scope of support with DoD support organizations. They are not legally binding by law unless in the form of a formal contract, but they are designed to hold each party accountable. They are generally between two or more government organizations, but can also include other parties (i.e. contractors). In addition to contracts, for government to government arrangements, documents such as Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), Memorandums of Agreement (MOA), and Service Level Agreements (SLA) are often used. MOUs tend to be more top level and generally outline broad principles, while MOAs tend to be more specific. SLAs are similar to MOUs/MOAs, however they are generally less formal and more "promises of support."