The Army Must Balance Expensive Modernization with Lower Cost Upgrades
Modernizing military forces is never cheap. Even if buying new equipment will result in lower life-cycle costs, the upfront investment is inevitably substantial. When defense budgets are tight, the tendency is to defer modernization, particularly for non-combat platforms.
The consequence of this strategy is soaring maintenance costs for aging platforms that can produce a death spiral in which a military service lacks the resources either to maintain an obsolescent system or to acquire a new one.