Repair or Upgrade? How to Decide What’s Right for your Fleet

Maintaining your fleet in the most cost-effective method, with the smallest amount of downtime is your number one priority.  When an aircraft requires maintenance, your initial reaction might be to replace or repair the defective components, but with the number of upgrades out there, especially to legacy aircraft such as the C-130 and the UH-60, when do you know when to look to an upgrade instead of a replacement?

We have put together a list of things for you to consider when you look into repair vs replacement of components on your aircraft.

Ongoing Issues

As components age, more and more issues can continue to appear.  Consider if this is the first time you are having issues with a particular part, or if it’s been giving you a headache for some time.  If this becomes a repetitive issue for you, then chances are it’s time to start looking into other options.



Time is everything, and if mechanical teams are getting bogged down by lengthy maintenance on the same components balance the manhours going into upkeep compared to the cost difference of the upgrade.  This could also potentially mean less manpower required on the ground of in the field if you go with an upgrade, which could have plenty of side benefits.



Just like time, cost is always a priority, and often times a key factor in our decision-making process.  Review the cost of the replacement vs the upgrade in comparison to the Meant Time Between Failures (MTBF), component upgrades can save you valuable hours on downtime.  Many times, upgrades actually lengthen the life of your aircraft, and that could save you much more money as time goes on.


Future Planning

It’s easy to think short-term, especially when one of your aircraft is grounded and you need to get back in the air, but don’t forget to think ahead.  Are you anticipating an increase in usage of your fleet?  Or do you have a particular mission on the horizon where reliability is key?  Don’t get caught up in making the best decision for the moment, when you could save downtime and money long-term.


When you are considering a component replacement, talk to our team of experts here at S3 who can help you walk through the benefits to replacing vs upgrading.  We have the knowledge and years of experience to provide you the best solution for your fleet.  We are proud to be one partner for all your solutions, whether it be spares, repairs, or upgrades, we are here to work for you.



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