The F-16 Multinational Staged Improvement Program

A Case Study of Risk Assessment and Risk Management

by Frank Camm


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The F-16 Multinational Staged Improvement Program (MSIP) is the development program that the F-16 program has used to move beyond the F-16A/B. Its primary product has been the F-16C/D, an aircraft whose design evolves over time as new technological capabilities become available or attractive to incorporate in its design. MSIP is essentially a management device for coordinating many concurrent efforts to integrate subsystems with one another and an F-16 airframe. To this integration, MSIP brings a test-analyze-fix approach, using a systems integration laboratory and F-16C/D simulator to great effect. To prepare for changes in design, MSIP has established a flexible management strategy and contractual environment and has assembled an experienced management staff. As a result, MSIP has successfully fielded a series of effective F-16 C/D designs that include an enhanced air defense fighter for the Air National Guard, a new reconnaissance aircraft, and an aircraft that emulates Soviet fighters for the Navy. MSIP has also set the stage for developing F-16 variations outside the C/D program, such as a new aircraft to provide close air support.

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