Case analysis of the Joint High-speed Vessel program: defense acquisition
Watson, Brian T., Sr.
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In response to a shifting National Military Strategy that renewed the focus of combat operations on smaller, projectable, and dynamic joint fight entities, both the Army and Navy reviewed requirements to address capability shortfalls in either their force structure or operational warfighting concepts, or both. Both services' initial capability reviews resulted in a series of Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTD) designed to explore the military utility of converted commercial, high-speed, shallow-draft vessels as a materiel solution. This case study investigates the use of the ACTD to support the requirements generation and validation processes, the extent to which Army transformational and mobility factors drove the requirements process, whether or not changes in logistic support plans for Joint High-Speed Vessel (JHSV) impacted Army mission capabilities, and ultimately if these considerations led to a successful joint service acquisition of the JHSV. For both services, the ACTD supported the requirements process but it also presented new challenges in the approach to a joint materiel solution that would satisfy operational needs. That approach prioritized, validated, and incorporated competing operational requirements into a final and unique materiel solution for a system capability that is fielded.
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