Technological Opportunities and User Needs. The Defense Science and Technology Program identifies and explores technological opportunities within DoD laboratories and research centers, academia, and commercial sources. The aim is to provide the user with revolu-tionary war-winning capabilities and reduce the risk associated with promising technologies before they are introduced into the acquisi-tion system. Three mechanisms are available to facilitate the transi-tion of innovative concepts and superior technology to the acquisi-tion process: 1) Advanced Technology Demonstrations, 2) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations, and 3) Experiments.
Advanced Technology Demonstrators are used to demonstrate technical maturity and the potential for enhanced military capability or cost effectiveness, and are subject to oversight and review at the service or component level. An Advanced Technology Demonstrator can become the basis for a new acquisition program, or for the insertion of new technology into an existing program.
Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrators are used to demonstrate the military utility of a proven technology and to develop the concept of operations for the system to be demonstrated. Consequently, these demonstrators are typically funded and engineered to endure up to two years of service in the field before entering the acquisition process. Oversight and review of Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrators is at the office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff level.
Experiments, such as the warfighting experiments conducted by the military services and the Joint Forces Command, are used to develop and assess concept-based hypotheses to identify and recommend the best value-added solutions for changes to doctrine, organizational structure, training and education, materiel, leadership, and people required to achieve significant advances in future joint operational capabilities. They are also subject to oversight and review at the military department headquarters, and the office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff.
Following is a brief discussion of each of the phases,
work efforts, milestones and other decision reviews. There is no "one size
fits all." Each program structure must be based on that program's unique set
of requirements and available technology. The process of adjusting the life
cycle to fit a particular set of programmatic circumstances is often referred
to as "tailoring." The number of phases, work efforts and decision points are
tailored by the program manager based on an objective assessment of the
program's technical maturity and risks and the urgency of the mission need.
Milestone decisions for ACAT ID programs are made by the Under Secretary of
Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) (USD(AT&L)) after program
review by the respective Overarching Integrated Product Team and, if
applicable, the Defense Acquisition Board. For ACAT IAM programs, the
milestone decisions are made by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command,
Control, Communications, and Intelligence) (ASD(C3I)) following a review by
the Information Technology Overarching Integrated Product