Tag Archives: Cost Growth

Requirements and Cost Stability: A Case Study of the 18 Hornet Program


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Author: CDR Jay D. Bottelson, USN

Most government and industry leaders involved with Department of Defense acquisition programs emphasize the importance of requirements and cost stability. However, despite all the stated support for program element stability and acquisition reform, frequent changes are experienced in acquisition programs that affect the final end product in terms of changes to unit design, number of units procured, system and subsystem capability, as well as affecting the overall cost of the program. This study analyzes the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18A model to identify requirements changes; discern the reasons for change and the impact the resultant change made on the program (funding, schedule, capacity, etc.); and develop recommendations for limiting requirements creep, instability, and cost growth in future programs.

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Cost Growth in Major Defense Acquisition: Is There a Problem? Is There a Solution?


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Author: William D. O’Neil

Cost growth in defense acquisition is both a problem in its own right and part of the larger phenomenon of programs that fail to perform as intended or desired. It is a limited but persistent phenomenon, which has not improved in any material respect over at least the past four decades; nor is it unique to defense, and it can flow from a variety of causes. A limited group of similar remedies have repeatedly been tried, but achieved very little success due to lack of clear analysis of underlying causes. Research points to a corrective technique, “taking the outside view,” or “reference class forecasting,” with clear promise for attacking the root problems.

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