The Test and Evaluation Strategy (TES) describes the concept for tests and evaluations throughout the program life cycle, starting with Technology Development and continuing through Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) into Production and Deployment (PD) Phase. The TES is submitted to OSD for approval prior to Milestone A. The TES will evolve into the Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) at Milestone B. Development of a TES will require early involvement of testers, evaluators, and others as a program conducts pre-system acquisition activities. These personnel will provide the necessary technical, operational, and programmatic expertise to ensure nothing is overlooked in laying out a complete strategy. [1]

The TES must be consistent with the Technology Development Strategy (TDS) and Initial Capabilities Document (ICD). The TES should address the identification and management of technology risk, the evaluation of system design concepts against the preliminary mission and sustainment requirements resulting from the analysis of alternatives, competitive prototyping, early demonstration of technologies in relevant environments, and the development of an integrated test approach. The TES also satisfies the statutory requirement for a TDS test plan to ensure that the goals and exit criteria for the technology demonstrations are met.  It also provides a road map for evaluations, integrated test plans, and resource requirements necessary to accomplish the Technology Development (TD) Phase objectives. [1]

A TES should address the following objectives: [1]

  • Serve as the basis for T&E budgetary estimates identified in the Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD)
  • Integrate DT and Operational Test (OT) objectives into a single test strategy to maximize efficiencies during test execution while minimizing test resource requirements
  • Perform verification and validation in the systems engineering process
  • Be event-driven, rather than schedule-driven
  • Identify technological capabilities and limitations of alternative concepts and design options under consideration to support cost-performance tradeoffs.
  • Identify and describe design technical risks
  • Stress the system under test to at least the limits of the Operational Mode Summary/Mission Profile, and for some systems, beyond the normal operating limits to ensure the robustness of the design. This testing will reduce risk for performance in the expected operational environments.
  • Assess technical progress and maturity against Critical Technical Parameters (CTPs), including interoperability, documented in the TEMP
  • Assess the safety of the system or item to ensure safe operation prior to IOT&E, other troop-supported testing, operational usage, and to support success in meeting design safety criteria. The intent is to ensure that developmental systems are sufficiently free of hazards to prevent injury to the typical users participating in IOT&E and fielding.
  • Provide data and analytic support to the Milestone C decision to enter Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP)
  • Provide data and analytic support to certify the system ready for IOT&E.
  • Conduct Information Assurance (IA) testing on any system that collects, stores, transmits, and processes unclassified or classified information.
  • In the case of Information Technology (IT) systems, including National Security Systems (NSS), support the DoD Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process and Joint Interoperability Certification process;
  • Discover, evaluate, and mitigate potentially adverse electromagnetic environmental effects (E3)
  • Support joint interoperability assessments required to certify system-of-systems interoperability
  • Conduct an independent assessment of compliance factors established by the Office of the USD(C) for financial management, enterprise resource planning, and mixed financial management systems
  • Demonstrate the maturity of the production process through Production Qualification Testing of Low-Rate Initial Production assets prior to full-rate production. The focus of this testing is on the contractor’s ability to produce a quality product, since the design testing should already have finished
  • Demonstrate performance against threats and their countermeasures as identified in the DIA or component-validated threat document
  • Ensure the T&E strategy is aligned with and supports the approved acquisition strategy, so that adequate, risk-reducing T&E information is provided to support decisions


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Updated: 7/18/2017

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