Cover: The Evolution of Air Force System Acquisition Management

The Evolution of Air Force System Acquisition Management

Published 1972

by W. D. Putnam


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback39 pages $20.00

Describes the history of the system acquisition process from 1917. Originally, a project engineer followed design and manufacture of equipment. In the early 1950s, a project office managed acquisition of weapon systems acquired through a single prime contractor. The ballistic missile program had adopted the unique "package program," under which funding and programming decisions were made in concert and review channels abbreviated. In the late 1950s, system acquisition decisionmaking was centralized in the Department of Defense. In 1960, after an intensive study, an Air Force working group recommended the package program with one locus of responsibility for each phase of development. Residual functions were to be reduced and finally absorbed into a new Aerospace Weapons Command. An intricate compromise was struck in lieu of this drastic step. A major command realignment in 1961 created an interim organization. The procedures are currently being altered, but the central problems of reduction and recombination remain.

This report is part of the RAND report series. The report was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.