Lessons Learned from the F/A-22 and F/A-18 E/F Development Programs

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How can the Air Force and the other services profit from the experience of these two programs? Although the F/A-18E/F is an upgrade of an existing airframe and the F/A-22 is a new platform, the authors believe their divergent histories have lessons to teach acquisition decisionmakers. The authors present a history of the two programs and conclude that decisionmakers can reduce risk and improve acquisition by taking several steps, including setting realistic schedule and cost estimates and establishing a stable and experienced development team.