3.5. Concept Refinement
3.5.1. Purpose. The purpose of this phase is to refine
the initial concept and develop a Technology Development Strategy (TDS).
Entrance into this phase depends upon an approved ICD resulting from the
analysis of potential concepts across the DoD Components, international
systems from Allies, and cooperative opportunities; and an approved plan for
conducting an analysis of alternatives (AoA) for the selected concept,
documented in the approved ICD.
3.5.2. Concept Refinement begins with the Concept Decision.
The MDA designates the lead DoD Component(s) to refine the initial concept
selected, approves the AoA plan, and establishes a date for a Milestone A
review. The MDA decisions shall be documented in an Acquisition Decision
Memorandum (ADM). This effort shall normally be funded only for the concept
refinement work. The MDA decision to begin Concept Refinement DOES NOT mean
that a new acquisition program has been initiated. The tables in enclosure 3
identify all statutory and regulatory requirements for the Concept
3.5.3. The ICD and the AoA plan shall guide Concept
Refinement. The focus of the AoA is to refine the selected concept
documented in the approved ICD. The AoA shall assess the critical technologies associated with these concepts,
including technology maturity, technical risk, and, if necessary, technology
maturation and demonstration needs. To achieve the best possible system
solution, emphasis shall be placed on innovation and competition. Existing
commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) functionality and solutions drawn from a
diversified range of large and small businesses shall be considered.
3.5.4. The results of the AoA shall provide the basis for the
TDS, to be approved by the MDA at Milestone A for potential ACAT I and IA
programs. The TDS shall document the following:
220.127.116.11. The rationale for adopting an evolutionary strategy
(for most programs) or a single-step-to-full-capability strategy (e.g.,
for common supply items or COTS items). For an evolutionary acquisition,
either spiral or incremental, the TDS shall include a preliminary
description of how the program will be divided into technology spirals and
development increments, an appropriate limitation on the number of
prototype units that may be produced and deployed during technology
development, how these units will be supported, and specific performance
goals and exit criteria that must be met before exceeding the number of
prototypes that may be produced under the research and development
18.104.22.168. A program strategy, including overall cost,
schedule, and performance goals for the total research and development
22.214.171.124. Specific cost, schedule, and performance goals,
including exit criteria, for the first technology spiral demonstration.
126.96.36.199. A test plan to ensure that the goals and exit
criteria for the first technology spiral demonstration are met.
3.5.5. Concept Refinement ends when the MDA approves the
preferred solution resulting from the AoA and approves the associated TDS.