For every weapons system being developed, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) must make a critical decision: Should the system go forward to full-scale production? The answer to that question may involve not only tens of billions of dollars but also the nation's security and military capabilities. In the milestone process used by DOD to answer the basic acquisition question, one component near the end of the process is operational testing, to determine if a system meets the requirements for effectiveness and suitability in realistic battlefield settings. Problems discovered at this stage can cause significant production delays and can necessitate costly system redesign.
This book examines the milestone process, as well as the DOD's entire approach to testing and evaluating defense systems. It brings to the topic of defense acquisition the application of scientific statistical principles and practices.
National Research Council. Statistics, Testing, and Defense Acquisition: New Approaches and Methodological Improvements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1998.
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