Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation (FOT&E) is conducted after the Full-Rate Production (FRP) decision and during fielding/deployment and operational support. The tests are conducted in a realistic tactical environment similar to that used in Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E), but fewer test items may be used. Normally FOT&E is conducted using fielded production systems with appropriate modifications, upgrades, or increments. Specific objectives of FOT&E include testing modifications that are to be incorporated into production systems. The tests are also used to evaluate the system in a different platform application for new tactical applications or against new threats. It’s normally funded with Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funds. FOT&E is conducted to:
- Ensure that the production system performs as well as reported at the Milestone C
- Demonstrate expected performance and reliability improvements
- Ensure that the correction of deficiencies identified during earlier testing have been completed
- Evaluate performance of items not tested during Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E)
- Assessing spares support on deployed systems
- Validate the operational effectiveness and suitability of a modified system during an Operational Assessment of the system in new environments
- Assess the logistics readiness and sustainability of the system
FOT&E may be divided into two separate activities. These activities are:
- Preliminary FOT&E: normally conducted after the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is attained to assess full system capability. It is conducted by the Operational Test Agency (OTA) or designated organization to verify the correction of deficiencies, if required, and to assess system training and logistics status not evaluated during Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E).
- FOT&E: conducted on production items throughout the life of a system. The results are used to refine estimates of operational effectiveness and suitability; to update training, tactics, techniques and doctrine; and to identify operational deficiencies and evaluate modifications. FOT&E is conducted by the operating command or designated OTA.
AcqLinks and References:
-  Test and Evaluation Management Guide – Chapter 11
- DAU Test and Evaluation Management Guide, Jan 2005
- Guide on Incorporating Test and Evaluation into Department of Defense Acquisition Contracts