Early feedback of problems occurring during initial
use of weapon systems is essential for the elimination of unforeseen design
and manufacturing defects usually encountered during the transition from
low-rate production processes and tooling to full-rate processes and tooling.
Feedback concerning field problems, however, is often slow and inadequate, and
failed parts may not be returned for analysis in a timely manner. Complete and
accurate reporting of operating times and environments, along with detailed
descriptions of failures and possible causes, is needed but is normally not
available from military data reporting systems since the systems are designed
for maintenance data and not reliability data. While steps are being taken to
improve the military systems, contractor personnel frequently must be used for
data collection efforts.