This article was published by the Journal of Aerospace Information Systems, Volume 11, Number 10, October 2014, pages 691-701.
Trends in sustainment cost growth are beginning to alarm military planners. Although software drives most military functionality, the contribution of software sustainment to sustainment costs is not well understood. The Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute is involved in a research effort to describe the dynamics of sustainment, focusing on the software aspects. This paper describes the development of a dynamic economic model of sustainment in order to predict the consequences of funding decisions within sustainment organizations. To create this model, a number of notions had to be defined, including sustainment capability, capacity, and performance. The initial systems dynamics model uses notional input data; calibration with specific organizations will increase the fidelity of the model and tailor it to those specific groups.