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Product Support Package

ALCL 121


The support functions required to field and maintain the readiness and operational capability of covered systems, subsystems, and components, including all functions related to covered system readiness

Alternate Definition


General Information


The requirement for a comprehensive product support strategy is called out in statute, policy and expanded upon in numerous guidance documents. First and foremost, it is in the law.  Title 10 USC 4324, Life-cycle management and product support, states the following:  

"b) Life Cycle Sustainment Plan [LCSP].-Before granting Milestone B [MS B] approval (or the equivalent), the milestone decision authority [MDA] shall ensure that each covered system has an approved life cycle sustainment plan. The life cycle sustainment plan shall include-

  1. a comprehensive product support strategy; (Note: bold text added for emphasis)
  2. performance goals, including key performance parameters for sustainment, key system attributes of the covered system, and other appropriate metrics;
  3. an approved life-cycle cost estimate for the covered system;
  4. affordability constraints and key cost factors that could affect the operating and support costs of the covered system;
  5. sustainment risks and proposed mitigation plans for such risks;
  6. engineering and design considerations that support cost-effective sustainment of the covered system;
  7. a technical data and intellectual property management plan for product support; and
  8. major maintenance and overhaul requirements that will be required during the life cycle of the covered system."


Another key reference is DoD Instruction (DoDI) 5000.91, Product Support Management for the Adaptive Acquisition Framework, which states: "The PM [Program Manager], with the support of the PSM [Product Support Manager], will develop and implement an effective performance-based life cycle PSS [Product Support Strategy] (synonymous with performance-based logistics [PBL] strategy) that will deliver an integrated and affordable product support solution designed to optimize system readiness for the warfighter. The performance-based life cycle PSS will be the basis for all product support efforts and lead to a product support package to sustain warfighter requirements." (Note: bold text added for emphasis)

The Product Support Package and the IPS Elements

The product support package includes the array of product support functions required to deploy and maintain the readiness and operational capability of major weapon systems, subsystems, and components, including all functions related to weapon systems readiness. The package of product support functions includes the tasks associated with the 12 IPS Elements. These IPS Elements are listed below and are further defined in the IPS Element Guidebook:

  • Product Support Management
  • Design Interface
  • Sustaining Engineering
  • Maintenance Planning and Management
  • Supply Support
  • Support Equipment
  • Technical Data
  • Training and Training Support
  • Manpower & Personnel
  • Facilities & Infrastructure
  • Packaging, Handling, Storage and Transportation (PHS&T)
  • Information Technology (IT) System Continuous Support

The product support package is scoped by the IPS Elements which provide a structured and integrated framework for managing product support and ensuring that it is place when and where it is needed to satisfy user specified requirements. These support functions can be performed by both public and private entities.

The Product Support Package over the Life Cycle

The responsibility for developing the product support package is generally allocated to the PSM and others in the Life Cycle Logistics (LCL) community, although the package must be developed with other communities and incorporated in the development of critical program documents and artifacts over time. The product support package development is initiated in conjunction with the development of operational, programmatic and technical documentation such as the Capability Development Document (CDD), the Acquisition Strategy (AS), the Systems Engineering Plan (SEP), and the Configuration Management Plan (CMP). The package as - captured and maintained in the LCSP - must address sustainment influences on system design and the technical, business, and management activities to develop, implement, and deliver a product support package that maintains Affordable System Operational Effectiveness (ASOE) over the system life cycle.

Product support package development starts at program initiation and continues throught all program phases:

Features of a Comprehensive Product Support Package

An overview of the topics to be addressed include the following:

  • Availability of support to meet Warfighter specified levels of combat and peacetime performance
  • Logistics support that sustains both short and long-term readiness
  • Management of O&S Costs through analysis and decision prioritization;
  • Maintenance concepts to integrate the IPS Elements and optimize readiness while drawing upon both organic and industry sources
  • Data management and CM that facilitates cost-effective product support throughout the system life cycle
  • A Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) management process that ensures effective, affordable, and operationally reliable systems
  • Operator and maintainer training to encompass the full capability of the system

Product Support Development Checklists, Assessments and Demonstrations

As the weapon system design and development progresses, so should the product support package. There are numerous formal points during the life cycle when the progress of the product support package development must be assessed, such as during MS and other major reviews, but these are not the only times the PSM and the LCL team should take a good look at their work in progress. In reality, it is almost a continual process in order to identify challenges early and develop cost effective alternative approaches.

Major Tools

There are numerouls tools designed to help guide assessment and measurement activities; ones that will help give important insight into the soundness of the product support package in both concept and implementation. They include but are not limited to the following: