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Toward Affordable Systems II: Portfolio Management for Army Science and Technology Programs Under Uncertainties

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ST plays a central role in the ability of the Department of Defense DoD to field the advanced weapons systems that give the U.S. military its unmatched technological superiority. In view of this fact, DoDs program for acquiring new systems has long been linked with its ST programs in basic and applied research and advanced technology development.1 In 2008, for the first time, DoD explicitly documented a process for technologies coming out of its ST programs to be integrated into new systems at every stage of acquisition see Figure S.1. Under previous policies, the linkage between ST and acquisition typically occurred at the initial stage of the acquisition process, prior to Milestone A, while the basic system concept was being refined and before the total costs to develop, field, and operate a new system were assessed. These lifecycle costs were part of an analysis of alternatives AoA due at Milestone A in the acquisition process shown in Figure S.1, just before a new system entered the technology development stage. Consequently, the militarys ST planners were not called upon to consider the lifecycle costs of the systems in which new technologies were being used until an AoA was required. They had the costs of their own ST programs to manage but could do so more or less independently of total systems costs. The 2008 policy reflects a department-wide emphasis on technology insertion at every stage of the acquisition process. To support such insertions, planners would need to make lifecycle cost estimates at the completion of the ST programs, since the next step, the AoA analysis, where lifecycle cost estimates are typically made, may be skipped.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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