Test & Evaluation

Test & Evaluation Overview

Test and Evaluation (T&E) is a crucial process to assess the performance, reliability, and safety of various systems, products, or technologies. It involves systematically examining and validating these items to ensure they meet specified requirements and perform as intended. T&E helps identify flaws, weaknesses, or areas for improvement, enabling developers to make necessary adjustments before the final deployment. It involves designing and executing experiments, simulations, and assessments to gather data and evaluate the item’s functionality, durability, and effectiveness. T&E is essential across multiple industries, including aerospace, military, automotive, and technology, ensuring that products and systems meet quality standards and perform optimally.

Definition: Test & Evaluation (T&E) is the process by which a system or components are compared against requirements and specifications through testing.

Purpose of Test & Evaluation (T&E)

The fundamental purpose of Test & Evaluation (T&E) is to provide knowledge to assist in Risk Management that’s involved in developing, producing, operating, and sustaining systems and capabilities. The T&E process is an integral part of the Systems Engineering Process (SEP), which identifies levels of performance and assists the developer in correcting deficiencies.

T&E provides knowledge of system capabilities and limitations to the acquisition community to improve the system performance and optimize system use and sustainment in operations. T&E enables the Program Manager to learn about limitations (technical or operational), Critical Operational Issues (COI), of the system under development so that they can be resolved before production and deployment.

Main Test & Evaluation (T&E) Life-Cycle Activities

Main Test & Evaluation (T&E) Life-Cycle Reviews

Test & Evaluation (T&E) Reports

The Program Manager (PM) is required to provide Test and Evaluation (T&E) reports to OSD T&E. These reports go to the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)).

Main Test & Evaluation (T&E) Oversight

T&E progress is monitored by The OSD Office of the Director Operational Test and Evaluation throughout acquiring a system and submitting T&E Reports. Their oversight extends to Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) or designated acquisitions.

Joint Test and Evaluation (T&E)

Joint Test and Evaluation (JT&E) Program provides quantitative Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) information used for analyzing joint military capabilities and develops potential options for increasing military effectiveness.

Multi-Service Test and Evaluation (T&E)

Two or more Department of Defense (DoD) Components conduct a Multi-Service Test and Evaluation.  It’s conducted for systems that will be acquired by more than one DoD component or for a system that interfaces with another DoD component. All affected Services, and their respective Operational Test Agencies (OTAs) participate in planning, conducting, reporting, and evaluating the multi-Service test program. One Service is designated the lead Service and is responsible for the management of the program. The lead Service is responsible for preparing and coordinating a single report reflecting the system’s operational effectiveness and suitability for each Service. [1]

Adaptive Acquisition Pathways Test & Evaluation (T&E)

The T&E process has been adapted to be part of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework by providing different T&E methods for each of the six pathways. The main instruction DoDI 5000.89, details conducting T&E with regard to each pathway.

T&E Working-level Integrated Product Team (T&E WIPT)

The T&E Working-level Integrated Product Team (T&E WIPT) guides the development of a Test and Evaluation Strategy (TES) and guides the execution of the Test and Evaluation (T&E) program. It should be established as early as possible during Material Solutions Analysis (MSA), and a program office representative should chair it. Membership should consist of all Stakeholder organizations that require test data for Developmental Test, Operational Test, or any other required certifications, and the user representative.

Test and Evaluation (T&E) Funding

T&E funds for testing are provided by congressional appropriation to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which apportions the funds to the Services through the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). The PPBE Process formulates budget requests to Congress. Requests by PM for test resources are usually outlined in the TEMP. Generally, system development is funded from RDT&E funds until the system is operationally deployed and maintained. Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funds are used for Follow-on T&E (FOT&E) and system maintenance. The weapon system materiel developer is also responsible for funding the development of new test resources specifically needed to test the weapon system.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/13/2023

Rank: G1

Leave a Reply