Designing a Make vs. Buy Strategy for Expendable and Attritable Aircraft Engine Development
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Military aircraft engine customers are increasingly demanding agility and affordability for both engine development and production. In this thesis, we propose that this inflection point in aerospace and defense towards agility and affordability will be characterized by time-based competition and its "winners" will be the firms that are most successful in creating agile, innovative development programs and flexible, responsive production supply chains. This thesis builds on relevant operations frameworks that have supported similar questions in adjacent industries and we propose novel analysis that can support in identifying and resolving key lead time drivers and provide frameworks that can help firms understand their options. Through our analysis, we determine that by applying various engineering, design, and operations strategies that leverage novel technologies like additive manufacturing, reducing production lead times by up to 45% can likely be feasible for expendable and attritable engines. As capabilities are further refined, firms can also unlock many significant cost savings opportunities, setting the stage for an era of agility and affordability for expendable and attritable engines in the military aircraft engine industry.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering; Sloan School of Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology