Military Capabilities

US Air Force prepares for higher aircraft unit prices with Digital Century Series

26 November 2019

Key Points

  • The US Air Force expects its Digital Century Series aircraft to have higher unit prices than aircraft acquired in conventional programmes
  • The service expects to pay for it by re-allocating sustainment costs into design

The US Air Force (USAF) expects to pay higher aircraft unit prices as part of its new Digital Century Series (DCS) aircraft development effort because it will be paying for aircraft design, rather than sustainment.

Will Roper, USAF assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics (AT&L), said on 26 November that the service’s modern acquisition method, which generally receives lower unit prices through large aircraft buys, does not provide accurate unit prices.

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