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Systems Engineering and Architecture

Systems Engineering and Architecture

Reliability and Maintainability Engineering

The purpose of Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) engineering is to influence system design in order to increase mission capability and availability, and decrease logistics burden and cost over a system's life cycle. Properly planned, R&M engineering reduces cost and schedule risks by preventing or identifying R&M deficiencies early in development. This early action results in increased acquisition efficiency and higher success rates during operational testing and the development process.

R&M parameters (e.g., mission and logistics reliability, corrective maintenance, built-in test) are important characteristics used in measuring the operational suitability and effectiveness of Department of Defense (DoD) weapon systems. R&M parameters also relate to other system parameters, primarily those that characterize the system performance, readiness, logistics supportability, and total ownership cost. The R&M parameters and particular levels of performance support other system parameters essential to the success of the mission.

Results of R&M engineering activities are essential for programmatic decision and control functions. The R&M design methods and procedures are not new, but the challenge occurs in the diligent management of these methods and procedures to achieve reliable and maintainable systems. Effective management control of the R&M program, using the policies and guidance set forth by DoD, are intended to ensure timely performance of the necessary R&M activities to achieve the requirements and the development of adequate data to assess R&M at major milestones.


  • DoD Service Leadership for Reliability and Maintainability

    (DoD chartered, by invitation)

  • DoD-Industry Reliability and Maintainability Engineering Roundtable

    (DoD chartered, by invitation)

Strategic Direction

DoD Instruction 5000.88, Engineering of Defense Systems, provides the following direction regarding reliability and maintainability (R&M) engineering:

(1)  For all defense acquisition programs, the [Lead Systems Engineer] LSE, working for the [Program Manager] PM, will integrate R&M engineering as an integral part of the overall engineering process and the digital representation of the system being developed.

(a)  The LSE will plan and execute a comprehensive R&M program using an appropriate strategy consisting of engineering activities, products, and digital artifacts, including:

1.  R&M allocations, block diagrams, and predictions.
2.  Failure definitions and scoring criteria.
3.  Failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis,
4.  Maintainability and built-in test demonstrations.
5.  Reliability testing at the system and subsystem level.
6.  A failure reporting, analysis, and corrective action system maintained through design, development, test, production, and sustainment.

A comprehensive R&M program consists of engineering activities including the following:

  • Prepare a preliminary Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Cost (RAM-C) Rationale Report in support of Milestone (MS) A and updated for the Request for Proposal (RFP) Release Decision Point, MS B, and MS C.
  • Develop reliability growth strategy.
  • Program Managers and Operational Test Agencies assess reliability growth required to achieve the reliability threshold during Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E).
  • Track and monitor reliability growth throughout the acquisition process.


The Digital Transformation of R&M Engineering

68th Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, 2022

Future Direction of Model- Based Engineering Across the DoD

66th Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, 2020

R&M Engineering in the Era of Big Data

66th Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, 2020

R&M Engineering in the DoD Digital Engineering Environment

65th Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, 2019

R&M: Managing Emerging Challenges and Risks

63rd Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, 2017

RAMS Symposium Keynote

62nd Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, 2016

R&M: Critical to Success in a Technology-Reliant World

62nd Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, 2016

U.S. Army Reliable Software SOW and CDE Guidance

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, Redstone Arsenal, AL, December 2022

    • ENG 0850, Reliability and Maintainability Engineering Management
    • ENG 0860, Planning for R&M Engineering
    • ENG 0860, Planning for R&M Engineering
    • ENG 0870, Designing for R&M Engineering
    • ENG 0880, Procurement for R&M Engineering
    • ENG 0890, Program and Technical Reviews for R&M Engineering
    • ENG 0900, R&M Engineering Interface with Product Support
        • (In Development - Planned Deployment FY23Q3)
    • ENG 0TBD, Use of Artificial Intelligence in R&M Engineering
        • (In Development- Planned Deployment FY24)
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Contact Us

For more information, contact using the following subject line: Attn SE&A 

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense,
Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E))
3030 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3030