Expense and performance, unfortunately, haven't been useful metrics in the aerospace industry since the early 1960's when building ICBM's became a thing you could get rich doing.
Things like integrated billing, pre-negotiated offsets, headcount and work distribution guarantees, tie-ins with parallel projects, co-op support agreements and all sorts of other shit come first. Waaaay down on the list of decision making criteria is where you'll find cost and performance.
All that competitive bidding chatter you hear people talk about is so oversimplified as to be dishonest. Price is the determining factor only when all other things are equal. As an easy example, we provide laser positioning assemblies for high energy research facilities around the planet. To the best of my knowledge there isn't a high energy project on Earth we don't provide those assemblies to (we will even rebrand them and ship the subassemblies as a kit so some of our fussy allies don't get embarrassed because they can't do the work) and the last time one of the contracts was up for bid was 2006. Since then we're the no bid contractor for those widgets. For everybody.
Don't get me wrong, those positioning devices are expensive, but in the overall scheme of things they aren't that much. Other things like materials handling equipment, shit tons of the stuff in nuclear facilities, shipboard systems, rocket engine cores, really big ticket items are done the same way our positioning devices are done. No bids, just a contract and check(s). Hell, at least 12-15% of all Western government high tech spend isn't even accessible for review by government spending oversight committees and agencies.
My point is, cost and performance are easy. They just take expertise and willingness. Wading through the quagmire of bullshit is the hard part. But that's what has to be done if you want to deal with those people. It sucks, but it is reality.