Statement of Task
The NRC will:
decline in the Air Force’s ability to successfully integrate technology into weapons systems in a timely and cost-effective manner.
This study was also commissioned at a time of increased interest in technology management outside the Air Force and beyond the DoD. Disappointed by acquisition programs that underperformed in terms of cost and schedule, Congress enacted the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (WSARA; Public Law 111-23). One of WSARA’s major goals is to reduce the likelihood of future programmatic failure by reducing concurrency (i.e., the simultaneity of two or more phases of the DoD acquisition process), thus ensuring that systems and major subsystems are technologically mature before entering production. This congressional intent is apparent in WSARA’s emphasis on systems engineering and development planning, and in other mandates’ requirements for technology demonstrations, competitive prototypes, and preliminary design reviews earlier in the acquisition cycle, before costly system development and production decisions are made.