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Predator Acquisition Program Transition from Rapid to Standard Processes
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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In 1998, Predator became the first Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration ACTD to transition into the Defense Acquisition System. When it did, it operated within the Air Forces rapid acquisition office. Predator operated there until it made its final transition into its own program office. In 2006, Predator transitioned into the 658th Aeronautical Systems Squadron and began incorporating more standard acquisition processes. This thesis examines the successes and challenges of converting a rapid acquisition program with years of operational experience into the standard model. Research questions are as follows 1 What problems and successes occurred as Predator transitioned from a rapid acquisition program into a traditional program 2 Was Predators transition successful and 3 What lessons learned can benefit current and future programs The thesis examines the Predator program from 1996 through 2010. The study begins when the program transitioned from ACTD into Air Force management. Specifically, the study focuses on the time frame spanning 2006 through 2010. The Predator program transferred during this time from the Big Safari program office into its own unique program office, the 658th Aeronautical Systems Squadron AESS. Thus, the study covers Predators navigation to standard processes via ACTD, Big Safari, and finally the 658th AESS. In addition, the study relies on personal accounts by former and current employees of the Predator and Big Safari program offices, as well as published histories. In Chapter 3, the Predator acquisition process is compared to the standard acquisition of the F-22 Raptor stealth air superiority fighter.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE