COTS — Commercial Off-The-Shelf items — used in electronic military systems present advantages of being state-of-the-art technology, low cost and readily available on the market. Demand to reduce design lead-time and minimize cost bring on an increasing trend to use COTS in military applications. COTS manufacturers design the parts for moderate environmental conditions, which characterizes consumer goods, computers, telecommunications, and home entertainment industries. Military systems require reliable, high quality performance and survival in harsh environment. Therefore, in order to asses the potential risks of COTS implementations in military applications, it is necessary to be acquainted with the parts environmental specifications. This paper presents a survey of mechanical and environmental specifications as presented in various data sheets, by the manufacturers. Observations and concerns results of observations will be presented about issues that have to be addressed in the process of using COTS in military systems.

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