JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

The US Defence Acquisition System

Peter Garretson, Airpower & Spacepower Strategist, and Grand Stategist, is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
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  • January 2011
    Volume: 
    5
    Issue: 
    1
    Focus

    This paper makes an attempt to analyse and evaluate the US Department of Defence Acquisition System by highlighting the relationship of the requirements generation and budgeting process, the key actors, the major phases in an acquisition programme, and the major categories of acquisitions. It argues that the Department of Defence Acquisition System represents an ever evolving system-of-systems that attempts to translate Warfighter requirements into actual developed, purchased and fielded systems. While none of the key stakeholders seems particularly happy with its performance, it nevertheless incorporates a number of valuable practices that might be worthy of emulation. It states that recent reforms point to the importance of better cost estimation; high-level consolidated advisory expertise on cost estimation, developmental test & evaluation, and systems engineering; greater influence by combatant commanders; development of the professional acquisition workforce; and greater use of rapid acquisition

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