Contracts & Legal

10 USC 2373 “Procurement for Experimental Purposes”

Title 10 Section 2373 “Procurement of Experimental Purposed” is a rapid acquisition tool for fielding and testing new capabilities. Organizations must request delegations of authority to utilize 2373. Since FAR and DFARS don’t apply to section 2373 projects can be streamlined avoiding non-value-added processes. Section 2373 authority can be combined with other authorities such as science and technology OTs (section 2371) or incentive prize competitions (section 2374a) to rapidly transition emerging technologies into fielded systems for realistic testing and evaluation.  In 2016 Congress endorsed wide use of the authority by greatly expanding the domains to which the statute applies.

The Secretary of Defense has delegated this authority to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The authority has been selectively delegated within the Air Force but it’s not in general use and organizations desiring to use the authority will need to request delegations.

Authority [1]

The Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the military departments may each buy ordnance, signal, chemical activity, transportation, energy, medical, space-flight, telecommunications, and aeronautical supplies, including parts and accessories, and designs thereof, that the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary concerned considers necessary for experimental or test purposes in the development of the best supplies that are needed for the national defense.

Procedures [1]

Purchases under this section may be made inside or outside the United States and by contract or otherwise. Chapter 137 of this title applies only when such purchases are made in quantities greater than necessary for experimentation, technical evaluation, assessment of operational utility, or safety or to provide a residual operational capability.


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Updated: 5/4/21