Enhancing MIL-HDBK-217 Reliability Predictions with Physics of Failure Methods
The Defense Standardization Program Office (DSPO) of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) has initiated a multiphase effort to update MIL-HDBK-217 (217), the military’s often imitated and frequently criticized reliability prediction bible for electronics equipment. This document, based on field data fitted empirical models, has not been updated since 1995. The lack of updates led to expectations that its statistically-based empirical approach would be phased out. Especially after science-based Physics of Failure (PoF) (i.e. reliability physics) research led Gilbert F. Decker, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition to declare that MIL-HDBK-217 was not to appear in Army RFP acquisition requirements as it had been “shown to be unreliable and its use can lead to erroneous and misleading reliability predictions”.