ing that provide for two or more competing teams producing prototypes through Milestone (MS) B.”11 WSARA requires competitive prototyping of systems before Milestone B, unless waived by the Milestone Decision Authority. The legislation further requires that a prototype be produced before Milestone B even if competitive prototyping is waived. The WSARA direction on prototyping has been incorporated in the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG)12 as well as in DoD Instruction 5000.02.13 The DAG requires that the technology development strategy include a description of the prototyping strategy at the system and subsystem levels, as well as the number of prototype units that may be produced and employed during technology development and competitive prototyping.

The Air Force has responded to the congressional and OSD direction by updating internal guidance on competitive prototyping including AFI 63-101 on Prototyping.14 The Air Force prototype vision recognizes that risk is not limited to technology, but that it includes integration and manufacturability risks as well. The policy specifies that prototypes should be considered for critical technology elements, key manufacturing and integration risks, and demonstration of the ability of the planned system to meet user requirements.


DoD. 2007. “Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, Directors of the Defense Agencies. Subject: Prototyping and Competition.” Memorandum from the Under Secretary of Defense, September 19, 2007. Washington, D.C.: DoD. Available at Accessed August 10, 2010.


DAU. 2010. Defense Acquisition Guidebook. Fort Belvoir, Va.: Defense Acquisition University. Available at Accessed August 11, 2010.


DoD. 2008. Department of Defense Instruction. Subject: Operation of the Defense Acquisition System. 5000.02. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. Available at Accessed August 11, 2010.


USAF. 2010. Air Force Guidance Memorandum to AFI 63-101: Acquisition and Sustainment Life Cycle Management. Washington, D.C.: Department of Defense. Available at Accessed August 11, 2010.

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