Life Cycle Sustainment Plans (LCSP)
Product support is the package of support functions necessary to maintain the readiness and operational capability of weapon systems, subsystems, and support systems. It encompasses all critical functions related to weapon system readiness, including materiel management, distribution, technical data management, maintenance, training, cataloging, configuration management, engineering support, repair parts management, failure reporting and analyses, and reliability growth. The source of the support may be organic or commercial, but its primary focus is to optimize customer support and achieve maximum weapon system availability at the lowest life cycle cost (LCC). Although each service may in some cases use a different name, in their most basic sense, Product Support Plans, Logistics Support Plans, or Life Cycle Sustainment Plans (LCSP) are at their heart, plans which outline how logistics support and sustainment of a weapon system will be managed over its life cycle.
Policy in this area continues to evolve, including specific recent guidance related to the LCSP contained in Enclosure 2, para 8.a. of the DoD Instruction 5000.02 which states “the purpose of the Operations and Support Phase is to execute a support program that meets materiel readiness and operational support performance requirements, and sustains the system in the most cost-effective manner over its total life cycle. Planning for this phase shall begin prior to program initiation and shall be documented in the Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP).” It goes on to state in para 8.(c).1. that “life-cycle sustainment planning and execution seamlessly span a system’s entire life cycle, from Materiel Solution Analysis to disposal. It translates force provider capability and performance requirements into tailored product support to achieve specified and evolving life-cycle product support availability, reliability, and affordability parameters. Life-cycle sustainment planning shall be considered during Materiel Solution Analysis, and shall mature throughout Technology Development. An LCSP shall be prepared for Milestone B. The planning shall be flexible and performance-oriented, reflect an evolutionary approach, and accommodate modifications, upgrades, and reprocurement. The LCSP shall be a part of the program’s Acquisition Strategy and integrated with other key program planning documents. The LCSP shall be updated and executed during Production and Deployment and Operations and Support.” Chapter 5 of the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) also provides extensive information on the LCSP, in para 220.127.116.11 and Figure 18.104.22.168.F1.
There are a variety of titles for logistics related support plans used in DoD, including Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP), Supportability Strategies (SS), Integrated Logistics Support Plans (ILSP), Acquisition Logistics Support Plans (ALSP), Users Logistics Support Summary (ULSS), Post-Production Support Plans (PPSPs), Life Cycle Management Plans (LCMP), and what the USAF formerly referred to as Product Support Management Plans (PSMP). We anticipate over time, however that the Department and Components will continue to coalesce around Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) terminology. Additional information on this topic is available on the DAU Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP) “Logistics/Product Support Plans & Life Cycle Sustainment Plans (LCSP)” site.