Classic Case - Certifying AMRAAM

Certifying AMRAAM


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  • Product Description

    In March 1986, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was required by Congress to certify in writing that the Air Force's Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) program was proceeding according to plan: that its design was complete, that its performance had not been degraded from initial goals, and that its cost would be contained. The program, since its establishment in 1976, had experienced serious cost increases and schedule slippage; critics within the Department of Defense and Congress became increasingly vocal about the missile's defects. The case summarizes the development of the program and its difficulties and presents the perspectives of several critics, who challenged the program's testing procedures and the missile's overall effectiveness. The final section of the case examines the work of Lieutenant Colonel John Suerken, assigned to the AMRAAM program office, who prepared the Air Force's response to the request for certification.

    Learning Objective:
    The case provides opportunities to compare alternative views of the procurement process: one as linear and straightforward, the other as complex, iterative, and multi-level. The case also raises issues around the role of the program manager as advocate, and the effect of advocacy on the shaping of testing and evaluation techniques.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1988
    HKS Case Number: 845.0
    Case Author: Mary Schumacher
    Faculty Lead: Mary Schumacher
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 23
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Department of the Air Force
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 16-25
    _geography: US & Canada
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