An Analysis of Through-Life Support - Capability Management at The U.K.’s Ministry Of Defense
By: Jacques Gansler, Lisa H. Harrington, William Lucyshyn
This report provides an in-depth look at the current state of through-life support (TLS) and through-life capability management (TLCM) as it relates to the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) weapons systems sustainment. TLS and TLCM represent a transformative approach to weapons systems acquisition that is based on acquiring “outcomes” and capability over the life of a platform in order to reduce cost and improve performance. TLS refers to supporting a weapons system platform throughout its entire lifecycle. TLCM represents a still further evolution of the through life concept to delivering not just weapons system availability, but delivering capability – e.g., the capability to blow up a target.
The U.K. MoD began the journey toward TLS-TLCM more than 10 years ago. This paper reviews the history of TLS-TLCM, looks at its success to date in reducing costs and improving weapons systems availability and performance, and discusses challenges and lessons learned in implementing this transformation of defense acquisition. It explains the specific components of TLS and analyzes the effectiveness of TLS-based contracts. It presents TLS-TLCM case studies that analyze how this approach has been applied to several major U.K. weapons systems platforms, including Tornado and Harrier fast jets, and Merlin helicopters. The cases outline the benefits achieved on these two platforms—including savings in the £billions.