Major Capability Acquisition (MCA)

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Development RFP Release Decision Point

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Directly quoted material is preceeded with a link to the Reference Source.

Reference Source: DODI 5000.85 Section 3.9


The purpose of the Development RFP release decision point is to ensure, prior to the release of the solicitation for EMD, that an executable and affordable program has been planned using a sound business and technical approach. The objective is to ensure that the program requirements to be proposed against are firm and clearly stated, that the risk of committing to development (and eventually production) has been adequately reduced, that program security has been accommodated, and the program strategy and business approach are structured to provide value to the government while treating industry fairly.


The PM will summarize TMRR phase progress and results and detail the strategy for the EMD phase. Specific attention will be given to overall affordability, the strategy for maintaining competition throughout the program life cycle, source selection criteria, contract incentives, the IP strategy, threat projections, assessments of foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI), and the use of a modular open systems approach (MOSA) to evolve systems capability and establish and maintain interoperability.



The MDA will approve the release of the final RFP for the EMD phase and determine the preliminary low-rate initial production (LRIP) quantity or, for an AIS, the scope of limited deployment at this decision point.  Decisions resulting from the decision review will be documented in an ADM.  The ADM will include specific criteria required for Milestone C approval including test and evaluation accomplishments, exportability and international acquisition planning, LRIP quantities or the limited deployment scope, affordability requirements and program goals, finalized sustainment metrics, and FYDP funding requirements.

See the Milestone Document Identification (MDID) tool for the statutory and regulatory information required.

Milestone Document Identification Logo

T&E Considerations

Reference Source: DAG CH 8-4.2.3 Development RFP Release Decision

Prior to the Development Request for Proposal (RFP) Release Decision, and prior to release of a request for proposal (RFP) for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, the PM submits the Acquisition Strategy (AS) and obtains MDA approval. The approved Acquisition Strategy informs development of the RFPs for Engineering and Manufacturing Development contracts.

The Chief Developmental Tester, in collaboration with the T&E WIPT, provides a draft Milestone B TEMP (“draft” means a DoD Component-approved draft) at the Development RFP Release Decision.

The Development RFP Release Decision ensures, prior to the release of the solicitation for Engineering and Manufacturing Development, an executable and affordable program has been planned using a sound business approach. The goal is to avoid any major program delays at Milestone B, when source selection is already complete and award is imminent. Prior to release of the final RFP(s):

  • There needs to be confidence that the program requirements to be bid against are firm and clearly stated.
  • The risk of committing to development and presumably production has been or is adequately reduced prior to contract award and/or option exercise.
  • The program structure, content, schedule, and funding are executable and the business approach and incentives are structured to both provide maximum value to the government and treat industry fairly and reasonably.

The T&E WIPT assists in RFP development to ensure it addresses key T&E requirements identified in the TEMP.

The Development RFP Release Decision authorizes the cognizant DoD Component to release an RFP to industry.

The RFP for EMD needs to address the contractor T&E activities across the programs that are critical for program success.

RFPs should address T&E-related needs, such as:

  • Evaluation strategy
  • Test articles
  • T&E data rights
  • Government access to:
    • Contractor test and evaluation data on system performance, interoperability, reliability, and cybersecurity, and, (if mission critical), nuclear effects survivability
    • Failure Reporting, Analysis, and Corrective Action System
    • Other test-related data/results or repositories
  • Built-in test and embedded instrumentation (including software log files)
  • Government use of contractor-conducted T&E
  • Government review and approval of contractor T&E plans
  • Government witness of contractor test events
  • Government review of contractor evaluations
  • Verification, validation, and accreditation of modeling and simulation to be used, including threats and threat environments
  • Investment in contractor-owned test facilities
  • Adjudication process for reliability, availability, and maintainability data
  • Contractor participation in the T&E WIPT
  • An Industry Test Lead, included in the key personnel clause, to participate and interact with the Chief Developmental Tester and Lead DT&E Organization
  • Meta-data, formats, and specific data requirements are included in the Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL).


Sustainment Considerations

Reference Source: DAG CH 4-3.2.2 Design Interface

The PM is an active participant in the RAM-C analysis to support the development of the RAM-C Rationale Report needed for the Development RFP Release and Milestone B. The PM should align the design of hardware intensive IPS elements, including support equipment and Packing, Handling, Storage, and Transportation (PHST) concurrently and in coordination with the system design to ensure R&M degradation factors are mitigated. This includes damage during maintenance, shock and vibration exposure in transportation and handling, exposure to extreme temperatures in transportation and storage, and relative humidity of the storage environment.

Reference Source: DAG CH 4-3.2.3 Development RFP Release

Key Sustainment Questions
  • Are Warfighter requirements traceable to RFP specifications (availability, reliability, O&S Cost)?
  • How will the requirements be tested and verified?
  • Are core depot transition (contractor to organic) requirements addressed?
  • Have O&S Affordability goals been established?
  • Has a program office LCCE been developed, and does it include disposal costs?
  • Have O&S Should Cost initiatives been identified?
  • Is Core Depot Applicability addressed?