Two Lockheed Martin companies have saved more than $7 million on government and commercial programs by replacing military-specified components with off-the-shelf hardware, says the Bethesda, Md.-based corporation. The efforts by Lockheed Martin Control Systems and Lockheed Martin Government Electronics Systems' Launching Systems support both Lockheed Martin Corp.'s best-practices program and the U.S. Dept. of Defense's civil/military integration program. Additionally, Lockheed Martin says the move to commercial parts ensures a continuing source of supply at a time when many manufacturers are leaving the military-components business. Among the specific initiatives undertaken was the replacement of ceramic microcircuits on Lockheed Martin's Full Authority Digital Engine Control products with commercial plastic-encapsulated components. The company said the lower-cost components are yielding savings in excess of $5 million a year. The redesign of products to eliminate military-specified components is among actions being undertaken to advance Lockheed Martin's "LM21 Best Practices" initiative. The initiative is intended to enhance the corporation's competitiveness through multiple productivity-improvement efforts.