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    he Joint Strike Fighter Program, formerly the Joint Advanced Strike TechnologyProgram, is the DoD focal point for defining affordable, next-generation strike aircraftweapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and our allies. This joint program waschartered to bring the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps together to work jointly atreducing costs of future strike warfare concepts by maturing and transitioning advancedtechnologies, components, and processes. The program provides the focus and directionto future strike technology by applying a strategy-to-task-to-technology processinvolving an integrated team of users and developers. User-defined future operationalneeds determine which technologies and demonstrations will be pursued and funded.The program thus serves as the critical link among the requirements community, thetechnology community, and the eventual acquisition program office, while focusing onreducing both cost and risk of technology, process, and concepts to meet future jointoperational needs affordably.(Keywords: Advanced strike technology, Affordability, Joint acquisition program, JointStrike Fighter, Joint warfare.)


    The Joint Strike Fighter Program

    Craig E. Steidle

    INTRODUCTIONIn the summer of 1993, the Secretary of Defense

    Bottom-Up Review acknowledged the Services needto affordably replace their aging strike assets to main-tain the nations combat technological edge. In Sep-tember 1993, during the presentation of the Bottom-Up Review, the Secretary of Defense formallyannounced his intent to cancel the Navy AdvancedAttack Fighter (AF/X) and the Air Force Multi-RoleFighter (MRF) programs and create the Joint Advanced

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    Strike Technology (JAST) Program. Together, the AF/X and MRF programs were unaffordable. In October1993, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisitionand Technology (USD[A&T]) approved the initialjoint Service plan for the JAST Program as a compre-hensive advanced technology effort to prepare the wayfor the next generation of strike weapon systems. Afterannouncing his approval of the joint Service plan tothe Congressional Defense Committees and requesting



    their support, the USD(A&T) formally established theJAST (now the Joint Strike Fighter, JSF) Program inJanuary 1994.

    FY 1995 Congressional legislation merged the De-fense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)Advanced Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (AS-TOVL) Program with the JSF Program. Additionally,the United Kingdom Royal Navy is committing $200million to the current Concept Demonstration Phaseof the JSF Program, extending a collaboration begununder the DARPA ASTOVL Program. Negotiationshave been initiated with Norway, Denmark, and theNetherlands to include them in future costperfor-mance requirements generation validations.


    To reduce the costs of development, production, andownership of the JSF family of aircraft, the program isfacilitating the Services development of fully validat-ed, affordable requirements. The following Serviceneeds were presented to the program at its initiation:

    Navy: A first-day-of-the-war, survivable strike fighterto complement the F/A-18E/F

    Air Force: A multirole aircraft (primary air-to-ground)to replace the F-16 and A-10 and to complement theF-22

    Marine Corps: A STOVL aircraft to replace the AV-8B and the USMC F/A-18

    United Kingdom Royal Navy: A STOVL aircraft toreplace the Sea Harrier.

    Doing Business DifferentlyNumerous acquisition reform initiatives and major

    commissions have provided guidance and recommen-dations on how to reap financial benefits by applyingstreamlined, nontraditional business approaches. TheJSF Program has adopted the recommendations of the1986 Packard Commission:

    Get the warfighter and technologist together to en-able leveraging costperformance trades.

    Apply technology to lower the cost of the system, notjust to increase the performance.

    Adequately mature technology prior to engineeringand manufacturing development.

    Ensure that the solutions are joint. Instigate and catalogue acquisition reform.

    This guidance has been aggressively embraced andimplemented into the JSF affordability philosophy asreflected in Fig. 1, the strategy-to-task-to-technologyprocess. The JSF Program has recently been added tothe Major Defense Acquisition Program list as a jointDoD 5000 Acquisition Category 1D program. There


    are several important themes running through the 5000documents, which have been demonstrated consistent-ly in the strategy-to-task-to-technology approach of theJSF Program. These themes include the following:

    Teamwork. The JSF Program has operated on theprinciple of teamwork, involving government andindustry working together in a true integrated productteam.

    Cost as an independent variable. The JSF ProgramOffice facilitated an innovative process that involvedthe warfighters early in the design process and led tothe timely approval of a Joint Initial RequirementsDocument (JIRD), a definition of top-level initialrequirements for the three Services. This process,supported by modeling, simulations, analyses, andtrade studies, will continue in an iterative fashionleading to affordable requirements.

    Best practices. JSF acquisition activities have beencharacterized by a willingness to incorporate soundideas for improvement in each solicitation, use ofstreamlined acquisition vehicles such as Broad AgencyAnnouncements whenever appropriate, insistenceon paperless, streamlined industry proposals, andelectronic processes that streamline source selection.Because of their affordability, commercial items, com-ponents, processes, and practices have also beenused.

    The process shown in Fig. 1 is the key to doingbusiness differently. Using a very vigorous, facilitatedquality-function-deployment process, the ProgramOffice, with the Services warfighters (Operational Ad-visory Group) and government and industry technicalexperts, executed a top-down strategy-to-task approachto requirements definition. This process led the teamfrom National Security Policy through concept ofoperations and operational objectives, to specific warf-ighting tasks. This effort produced an auditable,credible trail of the decision-making process. The warf-ighter/technologist teams melded these derived taskswith Defense Intelligence Agencysupplied threats andfuture force structure in simulation-assisted wargaminganalyses of the Defense Planning GuidancebasedMajor Regional Contingency scenarios.

    Five major wargames were conducted to assess thecapabilities of our strike forces projected in 2010 andto determine deficiencies in force capabilities. Integralto this activity was the examination of nonmaterialsolutions (tactics, doctrine, procedures) to address de-ficiencies in accomplishing operational tasks. The base-line campaign results provide a robust deficienciesanalysis, a required features and characteristics analysisfor costperformance trade studies, and a benchmarkfor future evaluation of contractor concepts for theJSF Program. Exploiting modeling and simulation inthis way will support the creation of an affordable

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    Modeling andsimulation


    National security policy

    Military strategy

    Operational objectives

    Operational conceptsbest practices

    Target set









    Required features and characteristics(joint and Service-unique)

    Affordable cost trades

    Investment plan

    Modeling andsimulation

    Technology andoperational


    Affordable effectivetechnologies

    Packard Commission

    Get warfighter and technologist together to enable leveraging cost-performance tradesApply technology to lower cost of the system not just increase its performanceAdequately mature technology prior to entering engineering and manufacturing developmentEnsure that solution is jointInstigate/catalyze acquisition reform





    Figure 1. The strategy-to-task-to-technology process incorporates the guidance and recommendations of numerous acquisition reformcommissions.

    weapon system by providing early (user, governmenttechnologist, and industry) costperformance tradestudies.

    An additional quality-function-deployment effortthen generated the strategy-to-task-to-technology pro-cess that explicitly linked JSF technology projects tothe derived material deficiencies, and thus to strikewarfare tasks and strategies. Rigorous cost-performancetrade study analyses, using cost as an independentvariable, were required prior to defining the JSF Pro-gram investment plans. Each technology maturationproject required a costperformance trade study, a life-cycle cost perspective, and an operational objective inthe strategy-to-task process. A cost-performance traderesult with the JSF-derived analysis tool, the four-dimensional response surface, is shown in Fig. 2.

    The technology maturation results are availableto all JSF weapon system contractors teams, not justto those that perform the technology work. This inno-vative approach is working for both the governmentand industry, even in a highly competitive programenvironment.

    As mentioned, developers and users together con-ducted the wargames and participated in trade studies

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    to address key weapon system features and character-istics. This analysis pr