During the past decade, the Navy has considerably improved its capabilities in aircraft-weapon integration. In 1989 it took more than 400 hours of wind-tunnel testing, which cost $1,5000,000, and 20 flights to clear the JSOW from the F-18 to Mach 0·95. This year the Mk-83 JDAM was cleared after only 60 hours of wind-tunnel testing and five flights to the full F-18 aircraft envelope of Mach 1·3. This reduction occurred because the Navy not only learned to test smarter, but also developed an integrated approach to modelling and simulation (M&S), wind-tunnel and flight testing which allowed lessons learned on previous programmes to be applied to new ones. However, the present approach still requires a fairly large commitment of time and financial resources to accomplish the mission.
The present approach has optimised the use of available resources; any further gains will have to come not by improving existing techniques, but by bringing new resources into the process.