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Defining Sustainment for Engineered Systems – A Technology and Systems View

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Abstract: Sustainment and sustainability are concepts that have pervaded recent engineering culture. Although the popular media often associates sustainability with environmental and socio-ecological constructs, it is a widely used and understood concept with application to many technology, system and business areas that extend beyond a socio-ecological context. This paper discusses the usage of the term sustainment, proposes a general definition of sustainment that conflates ecological, social, political, economic and technological interests, and provides recommendations that broaden the perspective. Keywords: sustainment, sustainability, resilient systems, triple bottom line, sustainment-dominated, technology

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