Cover: The Use of Prototypes in Selected Foreign Fighter Aircraft Development Programs

The Use of Prototypes in Selected Foreign Fighter Aircraft Development Programs

Rafale, EAP, Lavi, and Gripen

Published 1989

by Mark A. Lorell, Donna K. Hoffman


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3.7 MB

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


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback83 pages $15.00

This report surveys and compares the approaches to prototyping adopted by four countries — Great Britain, France, Israel, and Sweden — during the development of similar new fighter/attack aircraft. It is based primarily on information gathered during interviews and briefings conducted in 1987 with senior government and industry officials of those countries. Basic fighter airframe development still carries sufficient risks and uncertainties to warrant the manufacture and flight testing of an austere airframe prototype before full-scale development (FSD) is undertaken. However, avionics development and integration are becoming areas of increasingly high technological complexity, uncertainty, and risk. Effective development and adequate testing and integration may be possible only with the help of sophisticated avionics ground labs and with fully missionized prototypes that are essentially pre-production FSD engineering test articles. The report concludes that a combination of both pre-FSD austere prototyping and missionized prototyping may be required to meet the challenges arising in the acquisition environment of the late 1980s.

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.