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Estimating Alternatives for Joint Future Theater Lift (JFTL)

Methods and Models II Track



US military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are making military transport aircraft work at rates not foreseen just a decade ago. At the same time the existing inventory of transport aircraft are limited in their ability to transport heavy cargo to austere unimproved landing zones where military forces routinely operate. The US Air Force (USAF) with considerable support from the US Army conducted the Joint Future Theater Lift (JFTL) Technology Study (JTS) to consider how best to equip its theater lift fleets beyond 2020 to address this need. The JTS was established by merging the US Army’s Joint Heavy Lift (JHL) and the USAF’s Advanced Joint Air Combat Systems (AJACS). The JTS analyzes the cost, risks, and operational effectiveness of theater lift technology alternatives that address capability shortfalls identified in the JFTL Initial Capabilities Document (ICD); an essential capability shortfall being the delivery of a combat-configured medium weight armored vehicle (up to 36 tons) into austere, short, unimproved landing areas without ground handling equipment.

This paper examines the approach developed by the USAF’s Aeronautical Systems Center Capabilities Integration Directorate (ASC/XRE) personnel who staffed the JTS Cost Analysis Working Group (CAWG). It includes an overview of the Aircraft Conceptual Design Cost (ACDC) model, built in-house, as a means of providing “budget quality” Life Cycle Cost Estimates (LCCE) for the JTS alternatives and the challenges faced in completing these estimates. The challenges included new technology concepts, questions about aircraft quantities, and developing a non-budgetary estimate for strictly operational cost comparison between combinations of baseline air and ground assets and JFTL alternatives. The challenge of estimating new technology was faced by the CAWG when estimating the cost of a heavier than air (HTA) hybrid airship. Unlike a lighter than air (LTA) airship, a hybrid airship generates its lift both aerodynamically and from buoyancy. The USAF has never designed a hybrid airship; therefore, no actual cost data to develop a cost estimating relationship (CER) exists. The work the CAWG did validating RAND CERs used in the ACDC model is also discussed.


Robert Georgi
Booz Allen Hamilton
Robert Georgi is a Lead Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton and has over 19 years of experience with the U.S. government sector and private industry, primarily managing and conducting cost estimates and analysis for the acquisition process for the Department of Defense (Air Force, Army, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). At Booz Allen Robert is currently tasked with supporting the US Air Force Material Command (AFMC) market team in the area of cost/risk analysis capabilities, including developing intellectual capital.
Robert is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is a member of SCEA and certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He has presented at NASA Cost Symposia, SCEA conferences, the Galorath Users Conference, and Space System Cost Analysis Group (SSCAG) conferences.

Bruce Pursel