Analyzing the multi-national cooperative acquisition aspect of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program
Franck, Raymond E.
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The JSF program is a cooperative acquisition program involving the U.S. and eight partner nations to design, develop, and produce a next-generation fighter. Although the program is led by the U.S., the participant nations cooperate to produce an affordable yet advanced aircraft by exchanging technology and information, as well as investing in the program and receiving commensurate returns. The allied nations will then possess an advanced aircraft that they could not afford to develop on their own. Therefore, in order to successfully execute this complicated aircraft program, the U.S. has implemented an unprecedented acquisition strategy that it envisages as a model for cooperation in future international programs. The best value approach, international partners' early involvement, and leveled program participation are salient features of this strategy. However, even with innovative approaches and strong management efforts, the program's unit cost has increased 50 percent since 2001, with schedule delays of 2.5 years. In order to understand this complexity, this report analyzes the JSF program's international cooperative acquisition strategy. Specifically, this report investigates (a) whether the JSF acquisition strategy is a useful model for prospective acquisitions, and (b) the nature of Turkey's participation.
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