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This article examines how cost growth factors (CGF) change over a program’s acquisition life cycle for 36 Department of Defense aircraft programs. Starting from Milestone B, the authors examine CGFs at five gateways: Critical Design Review, First Flight (FF), the end of Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E), Initial Operational Capability, and Full Operational Capability. Each CGF is assigned a color rating based upon the program’s cost growth: Green (low), Amber (moderate), or Red (high). Significant findings include dependencies among similar CGF color ratings and cost growth occurring primarily between FF and the end of DT&E during a program’s life cycle.


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Defense Acquisition Research Journal