It costs more to develop a revolutionary, supersonic fighter jet than to build an aircraft based on an existing design, says a report released Oct. 10 by Rand Corp., “Lessons Learned from the F/A-22 and F/A-18E/F Development Programs.”
Glad they figured that out!
The Rand research brief is available online and includes this tidbit:
The programs allocated different portions of their budgets for management reserve. Management reserve is used to cover unknown problems in a development program. The F/A-22 program allocated only about 2 percent of its budget for management reserve. This reserve was depleted in about the first year of development because of the technical challenges. The F/A-18E/F program maintained roughly 10 percent of the contract value as management reserve, enough to cover unforeseen problems as they arose.
Two percent? Two freaking percent? They allocated that amount of the budget for “unknown problems” in the development of a revolutionary high-tech jet fighter? Who were they kidding? Besides Congress, I mean.