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Discusses the process of identifying, collecting and utilizing historical data for estimating the life-cycle costs (LCC) of a weapon system, emphasizing data-related limitations on accuracy and reliability. Particular attention is given to the costs of ownership. A case example illustrates LCC estimation using macro cost data for an operational weapon system. Some uncertainties inherent in the data collection and analysis processes are also discussed. Currently, approximation of aircraft weapon system LCC is possible, but the process is not straightforward. Major difficulties include using multiple data system products, different data nomenclatures, and insufficient data quality and quantity. Specific recommendations include implementing operationally consistent LCC estimation procedures, improving weapon system cost visibility in cost data systems, establishing and maintaining a nomenclature directory, implementing better cost allocation rules, anticipation of LCC decision data requirements, and constructing and maintaining a special database for LCC cost analysis and methodology development. (Presented at IEEE 1974 EASCON Conference.)

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