Evolutionary Acquisition: Implementation Challenges for by Mark A. Lorell Julia Lowell Obaid Younossi

By Mark A. Lorell Julia Lowell Obaid Younossi

This monograph provides findings of a RAND venture AIR strength examine undertaking documenting classes discovered by means of the U.S. Air strength (USAF) and different division of security (DoD) rate research and acquisition group contributors from the implementation of evolutionary acquisition (EA)strategies for significant Air strength security area acquisition courses. In could 2003, DoD mandated EA recommendations counting on spiral improvement because the most popular method of gratifying operational wishes.

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Claimed Benefits. The advocates of EA using spiral development argue that the benefits that are likely to accrue justify accepting the difficult challenges that may be required to implement the policy. As already noted, the most important benefit claimed for EA was more rapid fielding of operationally useful capability than the old singlestep to-full-capability approach. Other claimed benefits include the following: • Reduced likelihood of major R&D schedule delays and cost overruns due to the focus on the use of mature technologies and the promotion of more realistic system performance expectations • Enhanced requirements formulation process, which is much more responsive to the warfighter’s real operational needs due to constant feedback from the user communities • Rapid insertion of the latest technologies into the system, thus avoiding the problem of obsolete parts and subsystems.

13). 2 To achieve this objective, EA advocates sought to transform the earliest phases of each EA program increment or spiral into a much more flexible technology and concept demonstration phase. The main purposes were to ensure that available technologies had reached adequate levels of maturity, and that the system requirements and cost estimates had been sufficiently refined. Strict entrance criteria for moving into the next phase—now called system development and demonstration (SDD)—would be required, since this phase would constitute acquisition program initiation.

Thus the requirements and even the capabilities of the system constantly evolve Introduction 23 in response to real world experience. 5 Feedback Loops Refine Requirements in Spirals: Notional Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) as USAF Spiral System R&D Illustration Fiscal year 1999– 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Concept demo Traditional Development Pre-production Production Focused science and technology with funding flexibility for rapid insertion of technology System collaborative demo Development COA Collaborative spirals Feedback Loop A Spiral 1 production Integrated acquisition team • Users • Acquirers • Testers • Researchers • Logisticians Feedback Loop B COA Fieldable prototype demo COA Requirements refinement Spiral 2 COA Spiral 3 COA Continuous user assessment and collaboration, sustainment, and CONOPS refinement Requirements/science and technology SOURCE: Based on chart presented in Little (2002).

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