Traditional laboratory test strategies and methodologies are structured to identify and correct product defects that occur relatively early in the life of a product. Issues associated with aging, long-lived vehicles, such as aircraft, involve degradation mechanisms that may not be thoroughly investigated in the test laboratory with current test approaches. Long-lived vehicles (platforms) do not experience end of life in the same way that an electronic sub-element might. Rather than being retired, an aging platform may undergo repeated cycles of renovation and upgrades. As a result, every platform element may be expected to perform far beyond the limits of its contractually defined lifetime. Extrapolations of Aging Effects (EAEs) could provide program personnel with forewarnings of potential aging platform issues. MIL-STD-810F and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Standardization Agreement (STANAG) Allied Environmental Conditions And Test Publication (AECTP) 600 offer tools to assist in developing EAEs. Significant changes in acquisition practices will be needed to take advantage of these opportunities.

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