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Cost of Unsuitability: Assessment of Trade-offs Between the Cost of Operational Unsuitability and Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Costs
Final rept. Oct 2006-Mar 2008
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
Pagination or Media Count:
More than one fourth of all major weapon systems that underwent Operational Test and Evaluation from 1984-2006 were evaluated as unsuitable. A frequent and significant contributing factor in these unsuitable evaluations was substandard reliability. When a system is deemed unsuitable due to substandard reliability, it necessarily incurs additional costs to avoid, fix, or accept the consequences of its unsuitability. We estimate such costs for three aircraft systems F-22, MV-22, and C-17 that were all subject to substandard reliability, but invested to improve it during different programmatic phases. The F-22 and MV-22 programs attempted to fix substandard reliability after being evaluated as unsuitable at Initial Operational Test and Evaluation IOTE. The C-17 attempted to avoid an unsuitable evaluation at IOTE by investing to improve its substandard reliability during the System Development and Demonstration phase. Our results provide insight into the cost-based trade space for addressing unsuitability issues at different programmatic phases. We found that 1 being unsuitable due to substandard reliability is costly 2 investments to improve reliability exhibit strong returns and 3 earlier investment in reliability yields higher returns.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE