Evolutionary Acquisition is a DoD procurement approach where capability is developed and delivered in Increments. Incremental development allows for future capabilities to be added to a system as upgrades in improved technology or other increase in operational capabilities to meet a desired instate. Each block upgrade is managed as a separate increment for a fully operational system. Each increment will have its own set of requirements, review cycles, certification and accreditation, milestones and Acquisition Strategy.
Evolutionary Acquisitions was developed in the 1990’s to meet the rapidly changing nature of technology. In order for the operational capability to be delivered in a timely manner, capabilities had to be developed that allowed for easy upgrades when desired technology matured. Lessons learned proved it was too cost prohibited to upgrade systems that were never meant to be upgraded. This approach became essential with the increased reliance on technology.
According to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, “The DoD acquisition process is not getting new systems to the field quickly enough. The current average acquisition response time is 10 years, longer for major weapon systems. We are delivering technology that is at least a generation old. To reverse this trend, we must change our ways of doing business.” As a result Evolutionary Acquisitions was implemented.
- Spiral development is no longer used in Evolutionary Acquisition. The term developed too much confusion in the Aerospace community about the true nature of it. Spiral development was the approach for maturing technology and requirements in the Technology Development (TD) Phase and Engineering Manufacturing and Development (EMD) Phase thru prototyping. However, the approach and term is still used in software development.
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