Accession Number:

ADA592501

Title:

The Department of Defense Should Avoid a Joint Acquisition Approach to the Sixth-Generation Fighter

Descriptive Note:

Research brief

Corporate Author:

RAND PROJECT AIR FORCE SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

6.0

Abstract:

History suggests that when the Department of Defense DoD considers sixth-generation fighter aircraft capabilities, some will argue that a single joint acquisition program would cost less than multiple service-specific programs. Joint aircraft programs, in which two or more services participate in the development, procurement, and sustainment of a single baseline design, are thought to save life-cycle costs by eliminating duplicate research, development, test, and evaluation RDTE efforts and by achieving economies of scale in procurement and operations and support OS.1 Yet, the need to accommodate different service requirements in a single design or common design family can lead to greater program complexity, increased technical risk, and common functionality and weight in excess of what is needed by an individual service. These factors can increase the overall cost, despite the efficiencies gained from a joint approach. RAND Project AIR FORCE PAF research shows that historical joint aircraft programs have not saved money, have caused services to accept unwelcome design compromises, have contributed to the shrinking of the industrial base, and have increased strategic and operational risk. Consequently, unless the participating services have identical, stable requirements, DoD should avoid taking a joint approach to acquiring future fighter and other complex aircraft.

Subject Categories:

  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Economics and Cost Analysis

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE