Lessons Learned from the F/A-22 and F/A-18 E/F Development Programs
Sep 13, 2005
Lessons Learned from the F/A-22 and F/A-18E/F
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Since the late 1980s, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy have been acquiring two multirole fighter aircraft. The Air Force has pursued the F/A-22, the world's first supersonic stealth fighter, while the Navy has developed the F/A-18E/F, a carrier-capable fighter with air-to-air, interdiction, and close air support capability. The F/A-22 program has experienced significant cost growth and schedule delays and is still in the testing stage. The F/A-18E/F completed its development on cost and without any significant delays and has already been used in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
The Air Force asked RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) to investigate the reasons behind these differences and to derive lessons for improving future acquisitions. Major conclusions about the F/A-22 and F/A-18E/F programs are as follows:
The different approaches used by each program—and their outcomes—suggest important lessons for acquisition planners:
These lessons can help the Air Force and other military services improve future acquisition projects, such as the Joint Strike Fighter, unmanned aerial vehicles, and missile programs.
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