This article summarizes the work that has been carried out as part of the FLAVIIR project, a 5-year research programme looking at technologies for future unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). This is a UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded project sponsored by BAE systems. <br/><br/>A framework to estimate the life cycle cost of UAVs is presented. The acquisition costs are estimated using a hierarchical structure and a discrete simulation model is used to estimate the maintenance and operation costs. <br/><br/>The architecture to estimate the life cycle cost and the associated models are described. A framework is presented in which the cost models developed can be integrated into the design process to facilitate the comparison between different configurations. It is then demonstrated how this framework can be used to perform trade-off analysis and cost-based optimization
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