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The U.S. Air Force asked RAND Project AIR FORCE to perform a congressionally required assessment of contractor versus organic sustainment strategies to determine the most cost-effective approach for the F-22 air vehicle and F119 engine sustainment. This report describes the methodology used in that analysis, which involved the development and use of notional organic organizations as a point of comparison in the resulting cost estimates. These analogous government sustainment organizations were developed through interviews with personnel at combat aircraft and engine program offices and assumptions about the likely sustainment approach for the F-22, such as the locations of the depot work for both the engine and the air vehicle. The methodology for the analysis considered the contractor management functions that would be retained under either approach, as well as the timing of the transition. An examination of the asserted benefits of the contractor versus organic approach, including those related to information management, funding flexibility, and technological advantages, and issues of concern for analysts (such as technical data rights), rounded out the analysis.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction and Study Methodology

  • Chapter Two

    Weapon System Sustainment and PSI Roles

  • Chapter Three

    Organizational Responsibilities and the Methodology for Determining Manpower Requirements

  • Chapter Four

    Approach for Assessing Material and Surcharge Costs

  • Chapter Five

    Cost Comparison Summary

  • Chapter Six

    Potential Benefits of Alternative Approaches

  • Chapter Seven

    Other Findings

  • Chapter Eight

    Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    The Costs of Technical Data

  • Appendix B

    The F-22 Process for Assigning Depot-Level Reparable Workload

  • Appendix C

    F-22 Sustainment Activities

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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