THE TEMPLATE FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE NEXT MULTINATIONAL MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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There are many obstacles to an effective acquisition process in the US Air Force, including budget restrictions and schedule demands. This research assesses whether future programs involved in this process should use the Multinational Fighter Program MNFP as the model to successfully overcome these many complications and problems. This effective program with many success stories began over 40 years ago as a unified international F-16 program and was instantly considered the Deal of the Century. The consortium began after General Dynamics produced the compact YF-16, which was chosen in a fly-off as a light, agile fighter that could be produced in large numbers for the US Air Force Lightweight Fighter program. Many North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO partners, including the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark, are currently cooperating partners in the acquisition of the next Multinational Multi-Role Fighter. Learning from F-16 Memorandum of Understanding MOU, the F-35 MOU recognized benefits from the international cooperation regarding standardization, rationalization, and interoperability of military equipment and improving each countrys mutual conventional defense capabilities through the application of emerging technologies. This research confirms there were significant benefits to the creation of this unique teaming arrangement. Therefore, the conclusion of this report is that when each of the six individual countries purchased their F-16s for their fleet of multi-role fighters, this collaborative arrangement produced more than just a larger combined fleet of aircraft these countries also strengthened their political bonds and global strength.
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