A case analysis of the dual sourcing strategy as used in the acquisition of the Army's Javelin medium anti-armor weapons program
Buck, Christopher S.
Dillard, John T.
Stone, Mark W.
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The use of competition during the acquisition of major weapon systems is a key ingredient to mitigating risk and reducing total program costs, One tool the program manager (PM) has at his disposal to ensure competition is viable is dual sourcing. Since the 1960's, PMs have continuously considered the advantages and disadvantages of dual sourcing when developing their acquisition strategy. However, in the past few years dual sourcing as an overall program strategy has come close to being abandoned. Sole source procurement, especially in the production phase of major weapon systems, has returned as the norm. It appears the cause for this can be directly traced to the large force drawdowns, reduced budgets and decreased quantity requirements of the 1990's. The Army's Javelin program, which began in the 1980's, developed its acquisition strategy around the use of dual sourcing. Dual sourcing within this program has focused both on the overall program level (macro) and at the subcomponent level (micro). The lessons learned and techniques used in this program may provide useful insight for other PMs considering the use of dual sourcing, or within programs facing budget cuts or program downsizing.
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