Original Post Date: Monday, February 28, 2011

PRICE Systems recently accepted an assignment to complete a "Should Cost" estimate for a U.S. ally on a weapon system. The estimate included not only analysis on production costs, but also should cost on various operations and support costs. The only information provided by the client was quantity and time frame for production. A major ground rule for the estimate was that all data specific to the weapon system must come from publicly available information.  For example, mass, manufacturing process, and learning curve information must come from the public domain. 

After reviewing the scope for the estimate, we decided to also collect data on four similar weapon systems. This would allow us to provide not only a “Should Cost” estimate, but additional information to support the estimate. 

The initial task was to collect data on each weapon system. Pertinent model inputs were collected from various public sources. Flyaway costs were collected for each weapon system and used as the cost input for calibration. Manufacturing complexity for structure and electronics were the key input values solved for via calibration. The calibration results are displayed in a line graph, depicted in Figure One below.

Figure One. Calibration Results for each Weapon System

We then translated all calibration input data and calibration results into a predictive input file. Estimates were completed for each weapon system. All results were reported in the form of a graph depicting average amortized production costs, average flying hour cost, and average operations and support costs for each weapon system. 

The assignment could not have been completed without the capability of the PRICE Models. Model calibration was a critical task. Only a few pieces of data were required: quantity produced, production schedule, and mass. 

The model’s capability to solve for values for manufacturing complexity and a graphical depiction of the results enabled the client to quickly understand the results even though some of their personnel were not familiar with the PRICE models. Do you have a question about should cost?  Post it and we'll do our best to answer your question.  Need help? Contact one of our experts for assistance.