An AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III, the newest variant of the Apache helicopter, conducts flight testing in Mesa, AZ. The first full-production aircraft will be unveiled during a rollout ceremony scheduled for Nov. 2. The Apache Block III is the next iteration of the world’s most lethal attack helicopter; it resets the aircraft to 21st-century technology, including Level 4 Manned-Unmanned Teaming. (Photo courtesy of PEO Aviation.)
On Sept. 27, the Office of the Secretary of Defense recognized the Apache Sensors Product Office in Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation as one of three recipients of the 2011 Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) Award.
The AH-64D Apache Sensors Team won the Sub-System Level Award for supporting the Modernized Target Acquisition Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor used on AH-64 Apache helicopters. The award will be presented to the Product Manager (PM) team on Oct. 25 at the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Fall Product Support Conference in Hilton Head, SC.
The Apache Sensor PBL project, which is on contract with Lockheed Martin Corp., has demonstrated a comprehensive solution that is credited with maintaining fleet mission capability (at 100 percent), improved reliability and maintainability (with a 100 percent increase in mean time between failure from July 2010 to the present), and reducing sustainment costs with innovative supply concepts ($7 million in cost avoidance since July 2010).
“Apache Sensors PBL is truly a model for how we can do business,” said LTC Steven Van Riper, Product Manager Apache Sensors. “It provides balanced, cost-effective, and timely support to our Soldiers here in the States and OCONUS.”
The Apache Logistics Team, both government and industry partners, “works hard every day to make the PBL effort a success. I am absolutely thrilled that their accomplishments have been recognized at the DOD level,” Van Riper said.
PBL is the DOD strategy to improve weapon system readiness in obtaining life-cycle product support of weapon systems, subsystems, and components. PBL focuses on an integrated package based on output measures such as materiel availability, materiel reliability, and reduced ownership cost. The Secretary of Defense PBL Awards recognize the government-industry teams that have demonstrated outstanding achievements in providing warfighters with exceptional operational capability through PBL agreements; they are examples of better buying power in action.
“Apache Sensors PBL is truly a model for how we can do business. It provides balanced, cost-effective, and timely support to our Soldiers here in the States and OCONUS.”
“The Apache Sensors PBL program represents the benefits that can be achieved utilizing a partnering relationship between government and the private sector,” said Thomas Downey, Senior Technical Analyst with the Apache Sensors PM Office. “The program accomplishes direct and exact supply-chain specifics that benefit the Soldier and the aviation community,” he said. It does so “by providing a team concept that explores processes that can be utilized to provide a better product and establishes certain goals and objectives after jointly identifying areas of concern.”
PBL provides a means to ensure reliability, improve supply availability, implement product improvements, study and monitor obsolescence issues, maintain a high rate of readiness, and identify leading-indicator metrics to support supply posture and integrated operations.
One of the measures used to gauge the success of the Apache Sensors PBL program is a Supply Availability Metric, which is applied to the contractor and is constantly monitored for effectiveness and applicability, Downey said. “This provides the contractor with incentive to improve both their processes and sustainability.” The net result, he said, is that the Soldier has a cost-effective way to track part availability. “That improves Soldiers’ ability to sustain the end item and increases mission readiness.”
Nominations for the PBL Award were received from the services and the Missile Defense Agency. A team of representatives from Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Acquisition University, and the AIA evaluated the nominations.
- PEO AVIATION PUBLIC AFFAIRS
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