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How can the Air Force and the other services profit from the experience of these two very different development programs? The F/A-18E/F is a new platform, but it incorporates some of the key components of the legacy platform. The F/A-22, on the other hand, is completely new, but the authors believe the divergent histories of the two-the F/A-22 has been delayed 52 months and has experienced cost overruns while the F/A-18E/F was developed on time and on budget-have lessons to teach future acquisition decisionmakers. In this report, the authors present a detailed history of the two programs and conclude that these decisionmakers can take several steps to reduce risk and improve the acquisition process, including setting realistic schedule and cost estimates, establishing a stable and experienced development team, being aware of the risks entailed in concurrent development of new technology, and carefully monitoring airframe weight.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Acquisition Strategies and Industrial Base Issues

  • Chapter Three

    Potential Contributors to Cost and Schedule Growth

  • Chapter Four

    Use of Cost Performance Data

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusions and Lessons Learned

  • Appendix

    DoD and Congressional Oversight

Research conducted by

The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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