Developmental Test & Evaluation (DT&E) is conducted throughout the acquisition process to assist in engineering design and development and to verify that technical performance specifications have been met. DT&E is planned and monitored by the developing agency and is normally conducted by the contractor. It includes the T&E of components, subsystems, Preplanned Product Improvement (P3I) changes, hardware/software integration, and production qualification testing. It encompasses the use of models, simulations, test beds, and prototypes or full-scale engineering development models of the system.

Guide: DAU Test and Evaluation Management Guide – Chapter 7

Guide: DoD Test and Evaluation Management Guide – Chapter 6

The (3) three specific types of DT&E are: [1]

  1. Production Acceptance Test & Evaluation (PAT&E)
  2. Product Qualification Testing (PGT)
  3. Live-Fire Test & Evaluation (LFT&E)

DT&E is focused on early involvement in the acquisition life cycle by testing and evaluating earlier and more effectively, which will help to decrease costs, enhance performance, and retain schedule for programs. OSD DT&E Website 

DT&E includes activities that: [2]

  • Demonstrate that the engineering design and development process is complete
  • Demonstrate that the design risks have been minimized
  • Demonstrate that the system will meet specifications
  • Estimate the system’s military utility when introduced
  • Determine whether the engineering design is supportable (practical, maintainable, safe, etc.) for operational use
  • Provide test data with which to examine and evaluate trade-offs against specification requirements, life cycle cost, and schedule
  • Perform the logistics testing efforts to evaluate the achievement of supportability goals, the adequacy of the support package for the system, (e.g., deliverable maintenance tools, test equipment, technical publications, maintenance instructions, and personnel skills and training requirements, etc.).

The Program Manager (PM) is responsible for the ultimate success of the overall program. The PM and the test specialists on the PM’s staff must foster an environment that provides the contractor with sufficient latitude to pursue innovative solutions to technical problems and, at the same time, provides the data needed to make rational trade-off decisions between cost, schedule, and performance as the program progresses. [1]

Product Qualification Testing (PGT) is also another form of development testing that verifies the design and manufacturing process. PQTs are formal contractual tests that confirm the integrity of the system design over the operational and environmental range in the specification. [1]

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/18/2017

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