A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released on Dec. 8 says the Department of Defense (DoD) needs to better harness technology – including artificial intelligence tech – to improve predictive maintenance functions for weapons systems.

The report zeroes in on the need for the Pentagon to make better use of weapons systems condition-monitoring technology, as better use data analytics capabilities to perform maintenance.

“GAO found that the military services have not consistently adopted and tracked implementation of predictive maintenance,” GAO said.

“By developing plans to implement predictive maintenance, including action plans and milestones for weapon systems, the military services would be better positioned to determine where, when, and how to effectively adopt predictive maintenance,” the government watchdog said.

The report goes into detail about how the use of predictive maintenance can help lower the cost of operations for many different weapons systems maintenance, and improve systems operability.

“If implemented correctly, predictive maintenance can reform the military services’ approach to weapon systems readiness by reducing unplanned and unneeded maintenance, reducing maintenance delays, and reducing sustainment costs,” the report says.

The report offers a total of 16 recommendations, including that the heads of the Army, Navy, and Air Force each should appoint a single entity to support implementation of predictive maintenance across each of the service branches.

DoD concurred with all of the recommendations.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.