Modification of the F-14 : a case study in decisions affecting a major systems upgrade
Delahoussaye, Perry J.
Owen, Walter E.
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In 1984, the first major system upgrade to the Grumman F-14 began. Despite meeting all acquisition milestones and being within budget, the program was terminated by the Department of Defense in 1991. This cancellation was not only controversial within the Naval community, but more importantly, indicated a major shift in criteria used by decision makers to evaluate program success. This thesis examines the decision-making process surrounding the Government's decision to modify and later cancel the F-14 upgrade. Research indicates that as the defense budget shrinks, acquisition program formulation and execution becomes much larger than the manipulation of cost, schedule, and performance. The Service must define, defend, and execute its acquisition strategies to address the political concerns of the U.S. Congress, Industry, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Lessons learned from the F-14 upgrade will help future Program Managers understand shifting organizational and political dynamics within the system acquisition process.
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