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When acquiring air force (AF) weapon systems, the department of defense now demands more performance for less cost. AF systems cannot be acquired simply for greater performance, but must be balanced against the cost to arrive at a "best value" investment. Increasing the insight into performance, cost and risk trade-offs early in the product design process is key to enabling affordable AF solutions to be created and deployed. Frontier Technology, Inc. (FTI) has matured a decision support infrastructure that is built upon the integration of DoD-accepted decision-making methods combined with unique, collaborative insight into technical parameters driving cost. The FTI integrated cost as an independent variable (I-CAIV) tool facilitates the documentation of both AF high-level capabilities as well as the generation of multiple stakeholder and/or warfighter priorities. This structure includes performance requirements that are linked to objectives and thresholds in a manner that enables users to understand how requirements "drive" cost during the design process. FTI has developed this collaborative infrastructure from multiple DoD SBIRs focused on different aspects of affordability analysis. The Air Force, Army, and Navy have awarded SBIR efforts to mature collaborative infrastructure and integrate different DoD community-accepted data sources into the I-CAIV process and framework. These investments have resulted in a tool that can be used to visualize performance, cost, risk and schedule of multiple alternatives in threedimensionsidentifying the "knee of the performance vs. cost curve.