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Middle Tier of Acquisition

Adaptive Acquisition Framework

Middle Tier of Acquisition (Section 804)

Congress in the FY16 NDAA Section 804 directed USD(AT&L), in consultation with USD Comptroller and VCJCS to establish guidance for a ‘‘middle tier’’ of acquisition programs that are intended to be completed in a period of 2-5 years via two acquisition pathways:

Rapid Prototyping

Use innovative technology to rapidly develop fieldable prototypes to demonstrate new capabilities, meet emerging military needs. The objectives are:

  • Field a prototype that can be demonstrated in an operational environment
  • Provide for residual operational capability within 5 years of an approved requirement


Rapid Fielding

Use proven technologies to field production quantities of new or upgraded systems with minimal development required. The objectives are:

  • Begin production within 6 months
  • Complete fielding within 5 years of an approved requirement

Per the FY16 NDAA, these programs shall not be subject to JCIDS and DODD 5000.01, however the DoD implementation includes a tailored set of requirements and acquisition processes.