An Acquisition Strategy, Process, and Organization for Innovative Systems

By John Birkler; Giles Smith et al. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

There is a widespread belief that in the future some military threats might be quite different from those of the recent past-requiring a response by innovative system and employment concepts. Our present weapon-system acquisition process was designed for a different environment than the one that exists today and seems ill suited to meet demands posed by the apparent expansion of unconventional and asymmetric threats. In response to this new environment, recent calls for reform have placed special emphasis on the need for an acquisition process that is better able to satisfy the need for truly innovative system concepts.

Most critics of the weapon-system acquisition process have emphasized the need for better performance, but rarely do they address the question of how to achieve such improvements. In this study, we examine some specific dimensions of improvement that are needed and suggest a broad strategy for achieving those improvements. The report should be of interest to those critics mentioned above and all those interested in the weapon-system acquisition process in general.

We outline a suggested acquisition strategy, process, and organization that would operate in conjunction with the present process, and that is specially designed for effective development of novel and more risky system concepts. We describe this strategy in enough detail to identify its key elements, suggesting how it could work and why we believe it would provide needed capabilities not present in our current acquisition process.

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