Protect and Serve
The US Army is not an equipment manufacturer. Its purpose is to protect our freedom. Outside vendors manufacture and supply the equipment, electronics and materials required to maintain freedom. Every item that is used by the US Armed Services goes through a series of qualifying tests before acceptance.
Outside vendors bid on contracts to supply these items based on design and performance specifications – the items must perform as specified so the US Government gets what it has paid for.
An example of such rigorous testing involves the mortar series used by the Army and Marine Corps: 60, 81 & 120 mm. All functionality is verified through testing, even down to the amount of torque required to turn the aiming cranks – it’s all based on performance specifications. More exciting testing involves live firing tests where foil strain gage sensors are used to measure axial and radial strains along the cannon barrel while mortars are repetitively launched. This creates excessive heat, resulting in stress that may diminish the specified performance. If it fails at the US Army Proving Grounds, then it will fail in the field, and that is unacceptable.
So, the importance of creating these specifications and the testing to make sure items perform as specified is crucial for the success and safety of our troops in the field.
Just an example of Micro-Measurements products available to perform such life and performance saving verification tests: