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PLCS (Product Life Cycle Support) for sharing support data between French MoD and Industry

Presentation made by Sébastien OLIVIER (Direction Générale de l’Armement - French MoD), Christian GIRAUD (Eurostep) and Alexandre TOUCHOT (LGM) at 15th NATO LCM Conference, 30 January 2019, Brussels.


It has been a few years since the PLCS story started in the French MoD.

  • 2010: Ratification of STANAG 4661, in which ISO 10303-239 (PLCS) is encapsulated.
  • 2011: Study of PLCS advantages by DGA, the French procurement agency.
  • 2012: First experimentation of PLCS in the scope of a pilot program for exchanging data between manufacturer LIS (Logistic Information System) and SIM@T (LIS for Land systems Support). This experimentation was based on a PLCS database, named PENCIL, for consolidating exchanged information.
  • 2015: Beginning of the MAPS project which is an extension and a generalization of PENCIL for sharing In-Service Support data between SIM@T and all the land vehicles manufacturers LIS. The PLCS interfaces, named DEXs (Data EXchange specifications), which have been developed in the MAPS project, cover a specific business domain to exchange: Product Breakdown for Support, Distribution and Stocks, In-service material, Maintenance.
  • 2019: First implementations of PENCIL/MAPS on real programs with our industrial partners.

For efficient data management during all the life cycle of a new program, the French MoD requires:

  • Application of ASD/AIA S3000L specification and its associated DEX for Initial Support data,
  • Usage of MAPS DEXs for In-Service Support data.

So for the implementation of S3000L, for authoring and validating LSA (Logistics Support Analysis), the French MoD uses two complementary software elements: Share-A-Space (already used in PENCIL/MAPS) by Eurostep, and eLSA by LGM.
eLSA has been developed with the objective to enable an integrated approach to the specification of logistic support for complex systems - such as air strikers, air carriers, armoured vehicles, … by managing in a seamless way data issued from the different sources of logistic support, such as Product Breakdown Structures, Technical Documentation, Material Management, LSA, Preventive Maintenance, Feedback.

To do so, the choice was made right from the beginning to adopt the latest generation business standards, namely the S-series from ASD/AIA, and PLCS as a way to maintain consistency of data from the different sources, during development as well as in operation, enabling to host feedback from the field effectively.
In the presentation, we present the approach, the business objectives we address, the main functionalities of eLSA, and also the benefits of using these standards and in particular of PLCS.
Finally, we talk about future potential implementations of ASD/AIA S-series and PLCS:

  • In other French MoD’s LIS (Weapon systems Support, Air systems Support),
  • In NATO with the AC/327 Lead Nation Activity on Data EXchanges.