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The U.S. Air Force asked RAND Project AIR FORCE to perform a congressionally required assessment of contractor versus organic sustainment strategies to determine the most cost-effective approach for the F-22 air vehicle and F119 engine sustainment. This report describes the methodology used in that analysis, which involved the development and use of notional organic organizations as a point of comparison in the resulting cost estimates. These analogous government sustainment organizations were developed through interviews with personnel at combat aircraft and engine program offices and assumptions about the likely sustainment approach for the F-22, such as the locations of the depot work for both the engine and the air vehicle. The methodology for the analysis considered the contractor management functions that would be retained under either approach, as well as the timing of the transition. An examination of the asserted benefits of the contractor versus organic approach, including those related to information management, funding flexibility, and technological advantages, and issues of concern for analysts (such as technical data rights), rounded out the analysis.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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