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Technology Development Phase (Element of Defense Acquisition System)

The Technology Development Phase seeks to reduce technology risk, determine and mature the appropriate set of technologies to be integrated into a full system, and to demonstrate CTEs on prototypes. It is a continuous and iterative technology discovery and development process reflecting close collaboration between the S&T community, the user, and the system developer. The Technology Development Phase begins when the MDA has approved a materiel solution and the Technology Development Strategy (TDS) (during Milestone A). The TDS documents:

• the rationale for adopting an evolutionary strategy (the preferred approach) or a
single-step-to-full-capability strategy
• a preliminary acquisition strategy, including overall cost, schedule, and performance goals
• Specific cost, schedule, and performance goals, including exit criteria, for the Technology
Development Phase;
• An approach to ensure data assets will be made visible, accessible, and understandable to any
potential user as early as possible
• A list of known or probable Critical Program Information (CPI) and potential countermeasures
• A time-phased workload assessment identifying manpower and functional competency
requirements for successful program execution
• A data management strategy
• A summary of the CAIG-approved Cost and Software Data Reporting (CSDR) Plan(s)
• Preliminary Design Review (PDR) planning

AAC provides important systems engineering support for development of the ICD and the TDS. The user and developer must agree that a proposed technology solution is affordable, militarily useful, and based on mature, demonstrated technology. AAC logistics engineers help the PM plan for Life-cycle sustainment of the proposed technologies. Additionally, AAC systems engineers help the PM to develop a viable Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) strategy, integrated within the Systems Engineering processes, documented in the SEP and LCSP, and assessed during technical reviews, T&E, and Program Support Reviews (PSRs).

A Preliminary Design Review (PDR) must be conducted at the system level and include user representatives and associated certification authorities. The PDR Report is provided to the MDA at Milestone B and includes recommended requirements trades based upon an assessment of cost, schedule, and performance risk.

AAC engineers help the PM prepare the Capability Development Document (CDD) to support initiation of the acquisition program or evolutionary increment, refine the integrated architecture, and clarify how the program will lead to joint warfighting capability. The CDD builds on the ICD and provides the detailed operational performance parameters necessary to complete design of the proposed system. A Milestone B decision follows the completion of Technology Development.

The program exits the Technology Development Phase when:
• an affordable program or increment of militarily useful capability has been identified
• the technology and manufacturing processes for that program or increment have been
assessed and demonstrated in a relevant environment
• manufacturing risks have been identified
• a system or increment can be developed for production within a short timeframe
(normally less than 5 years for weapon systems)

 

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