A 2009 paper considered possibilities for applying a common display suite to various front-line bubble canopy fighters,
whereas further research suggests the cost savings, post Milestone C production/deployment, might not be advantageous.
The situation for military cargo and tanker aircraft, may offer a different paradigm.
The primary objective of Defense acquisition is to acquire quality products that satisfy user needs with measurable
improvements to mission capability and operational support, in a timely manner, and at a fair and reasonable price. DODD
5000.01 specifies that all participants in the acquisition system shall recognize the reality of fiscal constraints, viewing cost
as an independent variable. DoD Components must therefore plan programs based on realistic projections of the dollars
and manpower likely to be available in future years and also identify the total costs of ownership, as well as the major
drivers of total ownership costs. In theory, therefore, this has already been done for existing cargo/tanker aircraft programs
accommodating independent, disparate display suites. This paper goes beyond that stage by exploring total costs of
ownership for a hypothetical common approach to cargo/tanker display avionics, bounded by looking at a limited number
of such aircraft, e.g., C-5, C-17, C-130H (variants), and C-130J. It is the purpose of this paper to reveal whether there are
total cost of ownership advantages for a common approach over and above the existing disparate approach. Aside from
cost issues, other considerations, i.e., availability and supportability, may also be analyzed.