Original Date: 08/10/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Defense Standardization Program
A major element of acquisition management by the military services is the process of developing and agreeing on uniform engineering criteria for products, processes, practices, and methods. The Department of Defense (DoD) accomplishes this task through its Defense Standardization Program (DSP). Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), Lakehurst participates in and supports the DSP to provide for configuration management, logistics, maintenance, and reprocurement of existing platforms, systems, and equipment, and to develop world-class standards in partnership with industry for future acquisition requirements. NAWC, Lakehurst’s involvement includes serving as a lead standardization activity; preparing and maintaining the standards documents; reviewing and using the standards documents; and acting as a military coordinating activity. Currently, NAWC, Lakehurst is actively involved with nearly 15,000 military standards, specifications, handbooks, and other standards documents either as a preparing activity, a custodian, or a reviewer.
The DoD acquisition reform policies have transferred much of the work for maintaining and converting military standards and specifications from the government to various industry standards development organizations. There is, however, a continuing requirement for management, oversight, and technical support. NAWC, Lakehurst is directly responsible for the technical management of all specifications, standards, and handbooks used in the acquisition or reprocurement of Navy aircraft parts, systems, and equipment for which the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is the preparing activity. Maintenance of these documents includes revisions, amendments, inactivations, periodic five-year reviews, and issuance. Technical support involves helping contracting agencies, suppliers, and Fleet personnel handle issues like technical changes, contractual interpretations, technical data research, and environmental alternatives. Most technical service requests are handled by telephone or e-mail. NAWC, Lakehurst also supports the NAVAIR technical community in the development, maintenance, and conversion of military specifications to non-government standards which affect naval aviation systems design and acquisition. Currently, seven NAWC, Lakehurst standardization engineers are registered as participants with one or more of the following standards development organizations: AIA, ASTM, AWS, EIA, IEEE, ISO, and SAE. NAWC, Lakehurst is also designated as the NAVAIR subject matter expert for international standardization and interoperability, and provides members for international standardization committees.
NAWC, Lakehurst is responsible for the administration, maintenance, and customer support of several automated tools (e.g., ASSIST, PROTRACK) used in managing the DSP within NAVAIR. ASSIST is the overall DSP management information system, and PROTRACK is NAVAIR’s internal document maintenance process tracking system.
In recent years, acquisition reform initiatives have worked to eliminate military specifications and standards for new acquisitions, and to replace them with performance requirements developed in partnership with non-government standards organizations and industry. Figure 2-3 shows the current status of the NAVAIR standardization improvement program. Figure 2-4 shows the timeline for converting military standards to performance requirements. It is important to note that the wholesale cancellation or conversion of specifications which define parts and materials used in aircraft worldwide is not beneficial. These types of specifications are not cost drivers or military unique requirements. Instead, they constitute essential engineering information that defines as much as one third of the parts used on most of the aircraft built throughout the world. In essence, these military specifications have become de facto commercial and international specifications. In response to the prospective cancellation by the DoD of many of these critical documents, AIA established an Early Warning Project Group of which NAWC, Lakehurst is a member. This group identifies specifications such as this, and works to have them “reissued” as word- for-word conversions to commercial standards.
NAWC, Lakehurst is also involved in the development of a process to have an independent third party certify the Qualified Products Lists that are included in standards developed by recognized standards development organizations. This process will provide substantial savings to the government and industry by reducing the costs associated with qualifying parts.
Figure 2-3. Standardization Improvement Program Status
Figure 2-4. Standardization Improvement Program Timeline
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