Space Acquisitions

Space Systems Acquisition Policy (SSAP)


The Space Systems Acquisition Policy (SSAP) (DTM 09-025) model emphasizes the decision needs for “high-tech” small quantity National Security Space (NSS) programs.  DoD Space Systems are those space programs listed in the space virtual Major Force Program (MFP) maintained by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (DCAPE).

DTM 09-025 “Space Systems Acquisition Policy (SSAP)” – 11 Jan 2013

Listed below are eleven (11) key features of Space Systems Acquisition Policy (DTM 09-025) along with a brief summary:

  1. Independent Program Assessment (IPA): An independent, comprehensive, and systematic review of major space system managerial and technical progress.  The IPA is designed to identify program cost, schedule, and performance risks; formulate risk mitigation plans; and provide feedback both to the PM and the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA).  An IPA will be conducted 1) Before each milestone, 2) Prior to post-SDR assessment, and 3) Whenever directed by the MDA.
  2. Technology Development Strategy (TDS) Considerations: In addition to DoD Instruction 5000.02 “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System” requirements, the Technology Development Strategy (TDS) for Space Systems shall detail acquisition strategy and contracting approach for development of pertinent technologies for each phase of program lifecycle.
  3. Systems Engineering Plan (SEP) Considerations: In addition to DoDI 5000.02 requirements, the Systems Engineering Plan (SEP) shall 1) Emphasize space system’s integration with other existing and approved future architectures and capabilities, and 2) Include Mission Assurance (MA) planning (Description of those activities undertaken to ensure that space systems operate properly once launched into orbit, since retrieval for repair is impractical).
  4. Systems Design Review (SDR): Program Managers (PM) shall conduct a Systems Design Review (SDR) during Technology Development (TD) Phase to 1) Ensure system’s functional baseline is established and 2) Ensure systems has reasonable expectation of satisfying Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) requirement within allocated budget and schedule.  The SDR 1) Completes process of defining items or elements below system level, 2) Assesses decomposition of system specification to system functional specifications, 3) Determines whether system’s functional definition is fully decomposed, and 4) Determines that program is prepared for preliminary design.
  5. Post-System Design Review Assessment (P-SDRA): PMs shall provide a Post-SDR report to the MDA to include 1) Assessment of design maturity and summary of system-level SDR results and 2) Independent vulnerability assessment and orbital debris mitigation risk report.  The MDA shall conduct a Post-SDR Assessment.  At the Post-SDR Assessment, the MDA Reviews PMs Post-CDR Report and determines if more action is necessary to achieve TD phase objectives and satisfy ICD.  The Results of the assessment are documented in the Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM).
  6. Approval for Long-Lead Items at Milestone B: In addition to DoDI 5000.02 requirements, Milestone B shall normally include authorization for procurement of long-lead items necessary for authorized number of initial production articles.
  7. Entrance Criteria for Production and Deployment (PD) Phase: In lieu of the DoDI 5000.02 requirements to have acceptable performance in Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E) and OA, and no significant manufacturing risks, space systems shall be required to have acceptable performance in developmental test activities and acceptable manufacturing risks.
  8. Milestone C and Production and Deployment Phase: Milestone C shall be described as the initial production review and shall be conducted as soon as feasible after program CDR.  At Milestone C, the MDA authorizes acquisition-related activities associated with fabrication, integrated Test & Evaluation (T&E), to include Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E) and Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E), deployment (e.g. launch), and support of new space system.  The MDA shall review post-CDR report, determine whether additional action is necessary to satisfy EMD phase exit criteria, address and resolve orbital debris compliance issues, and approve entry into production and deployment phase for initial number of production articles.  The MDA will approve subsequent article production at a follow-on production decision.  The MDA may direct an in-progress review (IPR) after Milestone C, but prior to follow-on production decision review, to assess progress and determine if any additional actions are necessary to support a Follow-on Production Decision.
  9. Follow-On Production Decision for Space Systems: The MDA shall conduct a follow-on production decision review in lieu of a full-rate production and deployment decision to authorize procurement of additional space system articles beyond those authorized at Milestone C.  Statutory and regulatory information requirements in DoDI 5000.02 for full-rate production and deployment reviews shall apply to follow-on production decision review for space systems.  An OSD Independent Cost Estimate is required to support a Follow-on Production Decision.
  10. Entrance Criteria for Operations and Support (O&S)Phase: In addition to DoDI 5000.02 requirements, space systems shall be required to have acceptable performance in integrated T&E, to include DT&E, OT&E, and user acceptance of the system.  A follow-on production decision review may not be required as an entrance criteria if, for example, only one space system article is being acquired.
  11. Material Development Decision (MDD) for Follow-On Increments:  All follow-on increments shall be preceded by a Material Development Decision (MDD) to 1) Assess prior increment’s progress, 2) Consider additional requirements for that increment, and 3) Determine proper phase of entry for next increment.


  • On January 11, 2013, Change 3 to DTM 09-025 extended the DTM’s expiration date to August 1, 2013 to allow more time to incorporate the DTM into DoDI 5000.02

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