An evaluation of cost in government aircraft acquisition programs
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Aircraft system development has been steadily increasing in cost since the inception of human flight. Several factors have influenced this including economics, increasing complexity and increased customer expectations and requirements. In addition, the contractors which produce these systems have almost consistently been unable to complete them within the originally contracted budget and schedule. The factors which influence cost increase have been studied extensively by industry, government and private organizations and a study of those findings will be conducted in the following work with the intention of determining the factors which are primarily responsible for cost increase in aircraft acquisition programs. Following the discussion of data, recommendations for reducing cost will made with the goal of identifying the methods with which systems engineering can be used to improve the process at the system and program level. The intent will be to show how improved techniques for managing programs, meeting customer requirements and improving cost estimates can be implemented to manage cost growth. The ultimate goal of this study is to show that program risk can and should be managed more effectively and that high technology programs can be executed if they are properly managed.