For many years, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has had strict requirements about the size, weight and power (SWaP) of components and systems developed for military applications. A challenging budget environment led to a new acronym including "c" for cost, or SWaP-C. In 2012, the DOD presented a budget that was designed to "conform to the 2011 Budget Control Act's requirement to reduce Defense Department future expenditures...[even though] we still have significant gaps in modernization that will need to be filled in coming years."
The demand for reductions in size, weight, power and cost continues to be a daunting challenge. Product designers must often choose between power and performance at critical points in their design process. New components or designs for aerospace and defense must undergo a rigorous qualification process and require a significant amount of internal testing and review. With the many challenges involved in meeting DOD demands for reductions in size, weight, power and cost, a high level of collaboration with manufacturing partners is needed.