The use of reliability growth and test-analyze-and-fix (TAAF) testing has become widespread within the Department of Defense as complements to and substitutes for formal reliability qualification testing (RQT). Many different models, tools and techniques for their use have been presented in the literature, military standards and handbooks. Still, many reliability experts within DoD question the utility and cost effectiveness of reliability growth testing and describe it as rewarding contractors for sloppy initial designs. This paper presents an overview of a Rome Air Development Center (RADC) in-house study whose objective was to fully investigate the subject of reliability growth testing to enable a better understanding by reliability engineers as well as to present guidance for its potential application in the development of Air Force systems.

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