Good2Golf said:OGBD, it may sound simple, but the only way of knowing what a "unit flyaway cost" for a particular nation is, is to divide the total acqusition contract by number of airframes...simple as that. Pick any aircraft procured in recent times and even if very similar, there is not a single nation that has paid the same as another nation for the same aircraft...even in joint programs. Look back at CC-177. Physically differing pretty much by only a roundel and radio-call placard, yet not the same as any other C-17 user's "unit flyaway cost."
Sums it up nicely, explains my headache. Leads to multiple versions of "the price" being used to compare/confuse with different prices. If the F-18E is your babe_plane, you quote the URFC compared to the F-35 PAUC or APUC to "prove" how much cheaper it is. Not fair but used all the time. The other scam is to change the duration of Life Cycle Support, which increases the Program costs. The PBO did this in their report which lead to the Canada's elite journalists to report the F-35 price had vastly increased, implying the government/DND was hiding this information from the public. They still use the line "the most expensive military program in history" as a pejorative description without explaining that it is the only program costed over 50 years and is a highly misleading number. Imagine if they published the same/same price for the USN SSN or CVN fleet?
People are used to the URFC concept of price. Go and buy a car and you have a price to drive it off the lot. You own it, you can park it, drive it, whatever.
We know it will cost us to operate the car, but if I drive 3,500km a year and you drive 35,000km a year, ordinary folks will understand there will be two vastly different operating costs. Gas, maintenance, insurance etc. . . .
The definitions for the costing methodologies are pretty strict . . . see the graphic.