Aircraft Modifications

Assessing the Current State of Air Force Aircraft Modifications and the Implications for Future Military Capability

by Owen J. Hill

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The research presented in this dissertation began as a part of a study examining the costing of modifying Air Force weapon systems. Over the same time that the concept for the dissertation was evolving, the Air Force leadership was directing a significant amount of funding to research the past and present state of aircraft modifications with the goal of developing good modification policies for the Air Force in the 21st century. This increased emphasis from Air Force leadership also helped reveal the complexity of the current modification policy. Therefore, the goal of this dissertation is two-fold: First, to describe the current policy in a succinct yet thorough manner; second, to use this understanding to direct the quantitative analysis in an attempt to refine future policy to better serve Air Force needs. The research should aid future analysis because it lays some of the groundwork for a comprehensive understanding of an important facet of the Air Force aircraft modernization effort.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Background

  • Chapter Three

    The Air Force Modification Process

  • Chapter Four

    Organizational and Programmatic Trends

  • Chapter Five

    Separate Procurement Planning

  • Chapter Six

    Safety Modifications

  • Chapter Seven

    The Future of Aircraft Modifications

  • Chapter Eight

    Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    Data Sources

  • Appendix B

    AF Modification Documents

  • Appendix C

    IDECS Data Preparation Specifics

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in September, 2006 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Richard J. Hillestad (Chair), James N. Dertouzos, and Gregory G. Hildebrandt.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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