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Director, Operational Test & Evaluation
FY97 Annual Report

FY97 Annual Report


Joint ACAT ID Program
2,852 systems
Total program cost (TY$) $200B
Average unit cost (TY$) $70M
Full-rate production 1QFY09

Prime Contractor
Boeing or Lockheed Martin


The JSF Program will develop and deploy a family of strike aircraft by capitalizing on commonality and modularity to maximize affordability while addressing the needs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Royal Navy. This family of strike aircraft will consist of three variants: Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL), Aircraft Carrier Suitable (CV), and Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL). The focus of the program is affordability: reducing the development, production, and ownership costs of the JSF family of aircraft. The family of JSF variants will provide the Navy with a first-day-of-the-war, survivable aircraft to complement the F/A-18E/F; the Air Force with a replacement for the F-16 and A-10 and complement to the F-22; the Marines with a single STOVL platform to replace the AV-8B and F/A-18C/D; and the Royal Navy with a supersonic STOVL fighter/attack aircraft to replace the Sea Harrier. All variants will contribute to precision engagement and full-dimensional protection. The JSF will be a single-seat, single-engine aircraft capable of performing and surviving lethal strike warfare missions using an affordable blend of key technologies. CV and STOVL variants require an option for a two seat version. A missionized second seat is desired for the CV variant. The JSF system consists of the JSF air vehicles and all support, training equipment, related facilities, materiel, software, services, and personnel required to ensure that the system can accomplish its intended operational role.


The purpose of the JSF Program is to develop the next generation strike fighter weapons system affordably to meet an advanced threat (2010 and beyond), while improving lethality, survivability, and supportability. The JSF Program originates from the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program. JAST evolved from the 1993 Bottom Up Review (BUR), which acknowledged the services' need to affordably replace their aging strike assets. As a result of the BUR, the USN A/FX program, continued production of USAF F-16s after 1994, and the USAF follow-on Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) program were all canceled in favor of a new joint program. JAST was chartered by DEPSECDEF, with SECAF and SECNAV as additional signatories. The program's objectives were to facilitate the services' development of a validated set of joint requirements, demonstrate key leveraging technologies, and develop operational concepts for subsequent strike weapon systems. Congressional action later combined the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter (CALF) program with the JAST program structure. The CALF program was in development under the leadership of ARPA and incorporated the United Kingdom (UK) as an international partner. The CALF program's aim was to develop the technologies and concepts to support the next generation Advanced Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (ASTOVL) aircraft for the USMC and Royal Navy (RN). The combination of these programs presents a unique opportunity to solve the three services' and the RN's requirement for the next generation strike weapon system.


The Joint Strike Fighter program was placed on the Annual Oversight List For OT&E and LFT&E in June 1995 as the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program. IPT meetings are being held to address both OT&E and LFT&E. To date, no DT&E or OT&E has occurred; before the program enters EMD in FY01, integrated contractor and government DT&E will be performed using two demonstrator aircraft from each competing contractor.


As the JSF program gains definition under the tenets of acquisition reform, many challenges are being encountered for the first time. These include extensive use of state-of-the-art modeling and simulation, totally integrated contractor and government DT&E, and multi-service/allied OT&E for multiple missions in very different operational environments. COMOPTEVFOR and AFOTEC will conduct an EOA concurrent with the integrated T&E described above, and will prepare a single OT&E report to support Milestone II. This approach to early resolution of the most critical technological issues enhances the probability that no critical deficiencies will be discovered late in the program, when correction would be costly and disruptive.

The standard for JSF LFT&E is a specific vulnerable area against a 30mm projectile. A goal is to be able to repair battle damage from 23mm hits with organizational maintenance within 24 hours.


A program as complex as the JSF (multiple aircraft configurations for multiple users) especially needs to use the IPPD process to develop operational requirements and formulate integrated T&E strategies.

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