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There are several important, ongoing DoD initiatives aimed at accelerating acquisition so that capability can be delivered to the warfighter faster.
- The goal of the Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) is to “facilitate the rapid insertion of innovative technologies into military systems or programs that meet critical national security needs.” Such needs are all encompassing. The RIF Broad Agency Announcement for FY 2018 contains 135 pages of topics and associated requirements.
- Rapid prototyping and rapid fielding to counter emerging threats have been key elements of DoD’s research and engineering portfolio for a number of years. The following was stated in recent Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering testimony to Congress: “We are placing a strategic emphasis on prototyping and experimentation to identify emerging capabilities and unanticipated threats and reduce risk in DoD acquisition efforts. We are using prototyping supplemented by engineering analysis to evaluate new concepts, guide new technology development, and demonstrate new capability.”
- The March 2016 Acquisition Agility Act highlighted weapon system component prototype projects by legislating the duties of prototype project oversight boards. The Act also provided mechanisms to speed the deployment of successful weapon system competitive prototypes by establishing criteria by which prototype projects may be selected “for a follow-on production contract or other transaction without the use of competitive procedures.”
As a result of this accelerated acquisition, an immense amount of new technology could be inserted into DoD systems both in the near term and extending well into the future thereby generating complex questions associated with DMSMS management, parts management, and counterfeit detection and prevention. For example:
- To what extent will obsolescence during production and initial fielding be reduced because of fresher designs? Will there be a corresponding increase in obsolescence later in the life cycle?
- Will multiple system configurations complicate DMSMS monitoring? In what ways?
- Will technical data (TD) access be affected? Will TD requirements be traded off to increase speed? Will TD needs and associated costs be increased because of multiple configurations?
- To what extent will there be a proliferation of new parts into the DoD supply systems to meet performance targets? What does this mean for parts standardization?
- Will part selection tradeoffs be made favoring performance over reliability as a result of the rapid insertion of leading edge technology?
- How will counterfeit part trends be affected? Will those trends mirror the prevalence of DMSMS issues?
- Will malicious insertion opportunities increase given the extent to which new technologies being inserted are heavily software dependent?
Over the four days of the Conference, attendees will hear these questions and others discussed in detail. Attendees will also have an unprecedented opportunity to interact with leading experts on these subjects in informative training, dynamic plenary talks, and leading edge technical breakout sessions.