Development vs. Deployment: How Mature Should a Technology be Before it is Considered for Inclusion in an Acquisition Program?
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Modern military systems increasingly rely on the integration of multiple advanced technologies. While these technologies vastly increase warfighter capabilities, they also introduce risk into the system design and development process that tends to increase both its cost and duration. As acquisition cycle-times increase, warfighters must make do with dated technology for longer periods. Thus, there is an incentive to push as many advanced technologies as possible into each program to maximize warfighter capability over the next acquisition cycle. Unfortunately, the more new technologies a system has, the more risky its acquisition becomes, and consequently, its duration and cost increase even further. Thus, there is a feedback effect that exacerbates the problem. Open-architecture designs can partially alleviate this problem, but some technology decisions are so integral to a system''s design that they cannot be relegated to future upgrades. Consequently, there is a tradeoff between incorporating these technologies now and increasing program risk or developing and evaluating them further but potentially postponing their application to future acquisition cycles. Our paper will examine this tradeoff by considering a new technology''s contribution to program risk.
Proceedings Paper (for Acquisition Research Program)
NPS Report NumberNPS-AM-07-005
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