Evaluating the Desirability of Navy F/A-18E/F Service Life Extension Programs (SLEPs)

by Edward G. Keating, Irv Blickstein, Michael Boito, Jess Chandler, Deborah Peetz


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As Navy aircraft age, leaders must decide whether to modify and upgrade the aging systems or replace them. The Navy wants to make such aging-aircraft management decisions in an objective and analytical manner that provides the most military efficacy to the department for a given level of spending. While the F/A-18E/F is relatively new, preliminary planning has begun as to the feasibility and desirability of a service life extension program (SLEP) on the aircraft. This report sets forth a methodology to compare the value of doing an E/F SLEP to the alternative of buying replacement Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs). The report presents ranges of parameter values that favor versus oppose undertaking E/F SLEPs.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Making the Cost-Minimizing Choice Between a Service Life Extension Program and a New Aircraft

  • Chapter Three

    Consideration of Aircraft Availability Trends

  • Chapter Four

    F/A-18E/F Context

  • Chapter Five

    F/A-18E/F Service Life Extension Program Desirability Analysis

  • Chapter Six


  • Appendix A

    An Analysis of Carrier Onboard Delivery Options

  • Appendix B

    Net Present Value Versus Annuitized Value in SLEP Analysis

The research described in this report was prepared for the United States Navy. The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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