This support can be defined very differently from one entity to another and from one agreement to another, but the purpose of CLS for the hiring organization is generally to acquire higher level special expertise, a range of personnel, and other resources on a more adaptable and affordable basis than a permanent addition would allow. The purpose for the provider organization is to be able to provide their expertise and resources with more flexibility, focus, and control than might result from a permanent arrangement.

What services and resources does Contractor Logistics Support provide?

Exact services, assets, and resources that a CLS agreement specifies vary based on what is needed. In the case of a government contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), for example, U.S. House of Representatives Report 112-110, entitled Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) says that “although there is no uniform definition of Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) throughout the Department of Defense, it is broadly defined as contracted weapon system sustainment that occurs over the life of the weapon system. Examples of CLS include contractor-provided aircraft and engine overhaul, repair and replenishment of parts, sustaining engineering, and supply chain management."

What kinds of products receive Contractor Logistics Support?

CLS can be contracted to fulfill all logistics functions “as needed,” from Interim Contractor Logistics Support (ICLS), covering initial fielding of a product, to specific limited services to ongoing full support. Within our defense industry example, a few systems that regularly receive CLS services include:

  • Aircraft Avionics Systems
  • Cyber Resilience Platforms and Systems
  • Naval Guns and Deck Launchers
  • Radar Systems
  • Radiation-Hardened Space Products
  • Cross-Platform SIGINT and Electronic Support
  • Tactical Communications Products
  • Mission Computing Systems
  • Electronic Warfare Attack, Defense, and Testing Systems
  • Fixed-wing, Rotary-wing, and Vertical Lift Aircraft; Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Naval Ships, Boats, and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs)

Who uses Contractor Logistics Support?

In addition to military and intelligence agencies, CLS teams are also often chosen by private technology and aerospace companies, quasi-public utilities, research organizations, universities, and municipalities for advanced engineering expertise, innovation capabilities, and product-specific knowledge. They depend on them to keep their systems running smoothly, make updates as needed, and address inevitable challenges that arise – all on time and on budget. Contractor Logistics Support providers that consistently push the envelope in advancing their service, talent, expertise, and resource offerings are always in high demand.


This information page is provided as a service to our readers by BAE Systems, Inc., a U.S.-based world leader in aerospace, defense, power, and intelligence solutions. Learn more about us here.

Space Products

Electronic Systems

Learn more about our products and services.
Read more