Acquisition Process

Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase

The Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase is where a system is developed and designed before going into production. The EMD Phase starts after a successful Milestone B which is considered the formal start of any program.  The goal of this phase is to complete the development of a system or increment of capability, complete full system integration, develop affordable and executable manufacturing processes, complete system fabrication, and test and evaluate the system before proceeding into the Production and Deployment (PD) Phase.

EMD Acquisition System

Purpose of the Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase

The EMD Phase aims to develop, build, test, and evaluate a material solution to verify that all operational and implied requirements, including those for security, have been met and to support production, deployment, and sustainment decisions. Below is a list of activities to meet the purpose: (See Milestone Activity Map)

  • Develop a system or increment of capability,
  • Design-in critical supportability aspects to ensure materiel availability with particular attention to reducing the logistics footprint,
  • Integrate hardware, software, and human systems,
  • Design for producibility,
  • Ensure affordability and protection of critical program information,
  • Demonstrate system integration, interoperability, supportability, safety, and utility, and
  • Ensure operational supportability with particular attention to minimizing the logistics footprint
  • Demonstrate Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, and sustainment features are included in the design of a system

Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase Results

In the EMD phase, the system architecture and system elements down to the configuration item (hardware and software) level are defined based upon the technology selected and integrated during the Materiel Solution Analysis (MSA) and the Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TD) Phase.  During this phase, the system design requirements are allocated to the major subsystem level and are refined as a result of developmental and operational tests.  The support concept and strategy are also refined with detailed design-to requirements determined for the product support package elements.

Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase Efforts

The EMD phase consists of two major efforts: (1) Integrated System Design and System Capability and (2) Manufacturing Process Demonstration. These two major efforts integrated the end item components and subsystems into a fully operational and supportable system. They also complete the detailed design to meet performance requirements with a producible and sustainable design and reduce system-level risk. EMD typically includes the demonstration of production prototype articles or Engineering Development Models (EDM).

Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E) During the EMD Phase

During the EMD phase, a program will go through Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E). The purpose of DT&E is to inform the Program Manager and project personnel on the status of hardware and software on their program with respect to development design progress, product compliance with program requirements, and how well they are achieving Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) and Key System Attributes (KSAs).

Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase Reviews

Below are the major reviews conducted during the EMD Phase:

Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase Product Support

The Program Manager will complete the designs for Product Support elements and incorporate them into a comprehensive support package specified in a PS Strategy (PSS). The program will showcase Product Support’s performance by utilizing suitable verification methods that meet the sustainment objectives outlined in the MDA-approved program goals set at Milestone A.

Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase Completion Criteria

The completion of the EMD phase is determined when the system design is stable and meets all its requirements, programmatic objectives and the Exit Criteria has been achieved. The following are criteria to determine if a program can continue into the Production & Deployment Phase.

  • Validated capability requirements;
  • Demonstrated manufacturing processes;
  • Functional software sustainment processes;
  • Available industrial production capabilities;
  • Program security; and
  • Met Exit Criteria and Milestone C entrance criteria per the MDA’s direction.

AcqNotes Tutorial


  • DoD Instruction 5000.85 describes the activities conducted during and information resulting from the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase.
  • See Defense Acquisition Life Cycle Wall Chart  for more information on what needs to be accomplished in this phase

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 3/13/2024

Rank: G2

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