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Enabling Early Sustainment Decisions

Enabling Early Sustainment Decisions: Application to F-35 Depot-Level Maintenance

John G. Drew
Ronald G. McGarvey
Peter Buryk
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 44
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  • Book Info
    Enabling Early Sustainment Decisions
    Book Description:

    To inform Air Force sustainment sourcing decisionmaking, RAND researchers adapted lessons from the transaction cost accounting literature to develop a framework that helps planners visualize sustainment data and compare new programs with legacy Air Force systems early in the acquisition process. This report demonstrates how the framework can be used to select among depot maintenance strategies by applying it to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8467-5
    Subjects: Technology, Transportation Studies, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The U.S. Air Force must sustain a sizable and diverse array of weapon systems. A good portion of these systems must be mission-capable at all times, ready to deploy quickly or support the day-to-day training activities that maintain Air Force readiness. Sustainment of weapon systems is expensive, however, accounting for about 70 percent of a system’s total cost.¹ These costs have been rapidly growing. One estimate suggests that the current cost of Air Force sustainment activities now exceeds the total operating costs of such commercial companies as American Airlines and Delta Airlines.²

    Some of these costs may stem from approaches...

  10. CHAPTER TWO TCA and Current Air Force Sustainment Efforts
    (pp. 5-12)

    In 2008, the Director of Maintenance in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations, and Mission Support at Headquarters U.S. Air Force (AF/A4M) asked PAF to develop recommendations to make the Air Force sustainment system more agile. At the time, the Air Force was acquiring the Predator and Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft systems. AF/A4M leadership was concerned that the lengthy and data-intensive decision process imposed on Air Force acquisition programs was forcing sustainment decisions to be made late in the acquisition process.

    If the Air Force had standard sustainment systems strategies for technology types, the...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Application of the Framework to the F-35
    (pp. 13-22)

    Given a basic understanding of the theory behind the framework, we now apply these concepts to F-35 sustainment decisions. This analysis focuses on a subset of sustainment activities—namely, the above-core depot maintenance workload for the F-35. As stated earlier, core decisions are made to protect the services so that, in the event of a natural disaster, war contingency, or disruption in commercial-sector operations, the U.S. government will have a capability that it owns and controls to perform certain workloads. In our view, core decisions are the primary way that the Air Force should identify risk and address risk mitigation....

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Conclusions and Potential Extensions of This Analysis
    (pp. 23-24)

    This report explained how we expanded the TCA concepts and developed a framework that draws on legacy aircraft data to inform F-35 above-core sustainment decisions. We have also shown how workload data can inform enterprise-level sustainment strategies. In the near term, this framework can help inform F-35 and KC-46 sourcing decisions.¹ It can also inform partnering/partnership discussions early in the acquisition cycle, when the Air Force is negotiating with the OEMs.

    We recommend that the Air Force use this type of analytic framework to inform sourcing decisions. Strategic sustainment decisions are fundamentally economic decisions. Economy of scale is an important...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 25-28)