Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cost Analysis


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael J. Hicks, PhD


The United States Department of Defense (DoD) is currently recapitalizing its aging fighter aircraft inventory with the F-22A and F-35. While the DoD may consider cost and performance issues, it does not use a quantitative model that effectively measures the tradeoffs between the two. This thesis constructs a hedonic model of the fighter aircraft market to measure the implicit price on fighter performance characteristics and specifically applies it to next-generation aircraft. Data from 50 aircraft from 1949-present were used to construct two models – one based on procurement costs and one based on research, design, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) costs. The models, based on a linear Box-Cox transformation, demonstrated that the unique F-22A trait, the ability to super-cruise, has the highest per-unit implicit price ($68.5M), followed by the stealth technology ($58.7M) and large-scale integrated circuitry ($55.3M). The high marginal value for the super-cruise trait implies that, depending on how super-cruise is used operationally, the F-35A may be a more effective purchase in terms of resource allocation than the F-22A.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number