Validation of the SmartBasing aircraft rotation and retirement strategy

  • Jeffrey M. NewcampEmail author
  • W. J. C. Verhagen
  • Richard Curran
Original Paper


SmartBasing provides fleet managers tools with which to manage their end-of-life aircraft fleets. The principles of SmartBasing include reassigning aircraft to different bases and assigning aircraft to a new mix of mission types to actively manage the remaining useful lifetime of each aircraft in a fleet. This paper employs a single case study aircraft to validate the SmartBasing approach for a dynamic strategy for aircraft retirement. The United States Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt II was used for validation, because it is an aging aircraft fleet that experienced a partial fleet retirement in 2013. The efficacy of the SmartBasing principles was tested using the aircraft retired in 2013 by altering usage patterns and basing locations in the years leading to the 2013 retirement. It was shown that SmartBasing would have been a valid technique for managing the A-10 fleet prior to its partial retirement. Better aircraft utilization planning could have expended more residual aircraft lifetime prior to retirement, resulting in savings of more than 1.88 full aircraft lifetimes or over 83 million USD in aircraft acquisition costs.


Military aircraft Aircraft rotations Military retirements SmartBasing 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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