Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA)

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Prototype Operation & Sustainment (O&S)

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.

Residual Operational Capability: For rapid prototyping programs, residual operational capability will be considered any military utility for an operational user that can be fielded.

DODI 5000.80

Reference Source: Guidance from ASD(Sustainment), 2019
An effective and affordable product support solution integrates the system requirements, product support elements, and available funding, in a solution appropriate for the specific system while actively managing risk.  The PM and PSM should utilize analysis, creativity, and critical thinking to determine the details of their support solution.  The OSD Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) outline can help.  It includes a number of areas to consider in order to “tailor-in” effective and affordable sustainment planning.

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

DoD Component Guidance

Note that DoD Component MTA Implementation policies and guidance are currently being updated to be consistent with the newly published DODI 5000.80 (effective 30 Dec 2019). 

Air Force



Reference Source: ASN(RDA) Middle Tier Acquisition Interim Guidance, 24 April 2018

Section 6.1. Fielding of Rapid Prototypes. The PM is not required to enter Rapid Fielding to continue to operate initial prototypes in the field if desired by the requirement community and the Acquisition Decision Authority. Instead, the PM will development an appropriate sustainment package to support the items in the field until they are dispositioned.


Reference Source: USSOCOM Middle Tier Acquisition Authorities and Guidance, 1 Aug 2018

Logistics Management: The PSM is equally responsible for a successful F&DR or CF&DR decision before fielding and must develop an appropriately tailored Life Cycle Sustainment Plan as part of the SAMP for the capability prior to fielding.


Additional Resources