Touch Labor Estimate Modeling




To support its mission for the F-35, the production cost estimating team developed touch labor estimate models which include the flexibility to run production rate effects, loss of learning, commonality adjustments, affordability initiative and outsourcing impacts, multiple learning curve break point analyzes, and estimates for touch labor in hours or by realization. Given the scrutiny to the F-35 Lightning II program by the Department of Defense and Congress detailed and accurate cost modeling allows for better budgeting and more credibility within the services themselves and with the American public. Touch labor modeling with the F-35 is naturally more complex than other acquisition programs not only because of the three different variants, but also because of the international reach of foreign countries participating in the program and in regards to the hundreds of suppliers providing parts and the outsourcing of various assemblies for the jets spread across the globe. The touch labor models developed by the program office production cost estimating team create a platform from which a standard has been set on which multiple parameters can be adjusted and changed, without losing a credible method to produce estimates that can be easily replicated, repeated, and followed. This paper is an attempt to present the models and illustrates their functionality which allow for traceable and defensible outputs derived from extrapolation of actuals.


Michael Yeager

Lyle Davis
F-35 Lightning II Government Program Office
Lyle Davis is the Production Cost Estimator for Northrop Grumman, F-35 Lightning II program, Crystal City, VA. His cost estimates support contracting in negotiations with Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman and their subcontractors. He also has experience working in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller (Budget). He has undergraduate degree from Kent State University and a graduate degree from Weber State University.