Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA)

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Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA) Execution

How to use this site

Each page in this pathway presents a wealth of curated knowledge from acquisition policies, guides, templates, training, reports, websites, case studies, and other resources. It also provides a framework for functional experts and practitioners across DoD to contribute to the collective knowledge base. This site aggregates official DoD policies, guides, references, and more.

DoD and Service policy is indicated by a BLUE vertical line.

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



Reference Source: DODI 5000.80, Paragraph 1.2.c


The rapid prototyping path provides for the use of innovative technologies to rapidly develop fieldable prototypes to demonstrate new capabilities and meet emerging military needs.  The objective of an acquisition program under this path will be to field a prototype meeting defined requirements that can be demonstrated in an operational environment and provide for a residual operational capability within 5 years of the MTA program start date.


Virtual prototyping models are acceptable if they result in a fieldable residual operational capability.  


MTA programs may not be planned to exceed 5 years to completion and, in execution, will not exceed 5 years after MTA program start without Defense Acquisition Executive (DAE) waiver.

All MTA Programs must be completed within 5 years, which begins with the signed Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) and ends with the signed Outcome Determination ADM.

During the MTA program lifecycle, there are multiple program execution activities:

Iterative Activities
Design and Develop Prototype(s)
Test and Demonstrate Prototype(s) Performance
Operate and Sustain Prototype(s)

Continuous Activities
Complete and update documentation
Report to Governance Bodies


Check out the MTA FAQs and MTA Tips for potentially related questions from the field and helpful tips!