Sustainment Measures for Fighter Jet Engines
The US Air Force (USAF) has evolved a policy for the acquisition of fighter jet engines (FJE). In the 1970s and 1980s that policy placed a premium on FJE performance primarily measured by the metric: thrust/engine weight. In the 1990s, the USAF policy changed from an emphasis on performance to reduced life-cycle cost with a premium on sustainment. This paper reports the results of a study of how the USAF and Corporation Alpha (Alpha) have adapted their processes, practices, and policies to design, develop, manufacture, test, and sustain a family of FJEs. Each member of the family of FJEs is sequentially linked relative to insertion of technology designed to reduce sustainment costs. In addition to the technology linkages, the development of the family of FJEs selected for this case study is also tracked relative to US Department of Defense and USAF policy and industry design, build, and maintain processes, methods, and tools.