Sub-process 2, product acquisition:
The supplier is typically thought of as a Prime Contractor, but may be a team within DoN or another government activity. The acquisition may be competitive or sole source. There are different procedures, which must be followed depending on whether the acquisition is competitive or sole source. For major weapon systems, the acquisition process initiates within the service or field commander-in-chief’s ongoing mission area need analysis effort, which may result in an Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) – formerly Mission Need Statement (MNS). By certifying a mission need, the ICD may result in a Concept Decision to explore material solutions. The program then enters the Concept Refinement Phase, during which system alternatives are explored. The next phase occurs after Milestone A, and is known as Technology Development (formerly Component Advanced Development (CAD)). The preferred system concept is defined by a set of system performance requirements, and the technology is demonstrated to show that any significant technical and acquisition risk areas identified have been brought under sufficient control to warrant entering the next program phase. Program Initiation begins at Milestone B, which is the beginning of the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) (formerly EMD) Phase.
The SDD Phase includes the System Integration and the System Demonstration Work Efforts, which are separated by the programmatic Design Readiness Review, and the product Critical Design Review (CDR). The preliminary design and detailed designs are completed during the System Integration Work Effort, and tests are performed during the System Demonstration Work Effort. Following the Milestone C, the system enters the Production and Deployment phase, during which low-rate initial production and full-rate production takes place. After Initial Operating Capability (IOC) occurs, the Operations and Support phase is entered, modifications and product improvements are usually implemented. At the end of the system service life it is disposed of in accordance with applicable classified and environmental laws, instructions, regulations, and directives. Disposal activities also include recycling, material recovery, salvage reuse, and disposal of by-products from development and production.
At the conclusion of the first three phases, the requirement for the program is re-certified by the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) before additional resources are authorized. At each review, the decision authority may also direct a tailored program to omit or combine specific phases. These special cases are normally based on the decision authority being convinced that the technology and design maturity support such a decision.