This paper reports on a research project that aims to cut the cost of government-led aerospace system development projects while accelerating schedules and improving performance. The incentives produced by standard requirements-based contracting lead to suboptimal outcomes from the perspective of the government. We create a contract that incentivizes optimization rather than using requirements. The incentives align cost savings, rapid development, and higher quality with contractor profit. The contractor is paid more for a product with higher performance, and even more for a product that is delivered sooner. Therefore, the contractor can balance cost, performance and time in the way that the government would prefer. Superior program outcomes arise naturally from the incentives in the contract.