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Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering by Eric Rebentisch

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7INTEGRATION IN PRACTICE IN THE F/A‐18E/F SUPER HORNET PROGRAM

7.1 Introduction

What does it look like when program managers and systems engineers work together in an integrated fashion? Chapter 6 spelled out the broad elements of integration in an organization. But how do the elements of integration actually work, and how do they work together in a program? The case study detailed in this chapter1 provides an example of a program that was successful, but, more importantly, that success was decisively enabled by employing the principles described in the Integration Framework. This success was achieved in a setting where there were numerous competing demands for attention and resources; where the product requirements were complex and failure could be both punishing and an ever‐present possibility; and where multiple specialized interests presented challenges to successful integration.

The F/A‐18E/F Super Hornet shown in Figure 7‐1 is a twin‐engine aircraft designed to fly from Navy aircraft carriers to perform both air‐to‐air and air‐to‐ground combat missions. The prime contractor was McDonnell Douglas Corporation (now Boeing Corporation). Northrop (now Northrop Grumman) was the principle subcontractor and built the aft fuselage. General Electric (GE) was responsible for the engines (Bailey, Nash, & Woolsey, 1999, p. 3). The F/A designation represents its dual role as a fighter and an attack aircraft. The E/F is an evolutionary design derived from the F/A‐18C/D still in service. ...

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