Contracting Cone


Proof of concept hardware/software, a pilot, an innovative application of commercial technologies for defense purposes, a creation, processes, design, development, or demonstration of technical/operational utility.

For the DoD, Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA) Rapid Prototyping pathway is to rapidly develop fieldable prototypes within an acquisition program to demonstrate new capabilities within 5 years in accordance with DoDI 5000.80 – Operation of the Middle Tier of Acquisition. 

Prototype Contracts are executed in the Technology Maturity and Risk Reduction (TMRR) Phase of the Major Capability Acquisition pathway in accordance with DoDI 5000.85 Major Capability Acquisition.


Strategies to Explore First

While many of the contracting strategies could apply, the following are well-suited for prototyping:

This is NOT an all exhaustive list. Other contract strategies on the Contracting Cone may achieve mission outcomes based upon unique program objectives and constraints.