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    Does CDR have to preceed any testing in the E&MD phase?


    Not knowing what type of program or where your program entered into the acquisition process, I can provide some general information that I think may be helpful.  The DoDI 5000.02 states “EMD has two major efforts: Integrated System Design, and System Capability and Manufacturing Process Demonstration. Additionally, the MDA shall conduct a Post-PDR Assessment when consistent with the Acquisition Strategy, and a Post-Critical Design Review (CDR) Assessment to end Integrated System Design.
    (a) Integrated System Design. This effort is intended to define system and system-of-systems functionality and interfaces, complete hardware and software detailed design, and reduce system-level risk. Integrated System Design shall include the establishment of the product baseline for all configuration items.
    Author Note – did not include subparagraph (b) because it talks to what occurs during SCMPD.
    (c) Post-CDR Assessment. The MDA shall conduct a formal program assessment following system-level CDR. The system-level CDR provides an opportunity to assess design maturity as evidenced by measures such as: successful completion of subsystem CDRs; the percentage of hardware and software product build-to specifications and drawingscompleted and under configuration management; planned corrective actions to hardware/softwaredeficiencies; adequate developmental testing; an assessment of environment, safety and occupational health risks; a completedfailure modes and effects analysis; the identification of key system characteristics; the maturity of criticalmanufacturing processes; and an estimate of system reliability based on demonstrated reliability rates.”
    The Critical Design Review (CDR) conducted during the ISD effort of EMD, assesses system final design as captured initem detail specs for each CI; determines whether the system is ready to proceed into fabrication, demonstration,and test.  The CDR may be conducted on each CI or subsystem to evaluate whether hardware and software designs arecomplete and implement all system requirements. The CDR establishes the initial hardware and software Product Baseline.
    With all that being said, I can not tell you if there is any “required” testing (would depend on the type and complexity of the program), but my experience tells me that there would be some level of developmental testing (DT)completed to inform the program office if the system(s) were ready for CDR.  In this way, DT is used to assist in thedevelopment and maturation of products, product elements, or manufacturing or support processes, and is alsoconsidered any engineering-type test used to verify status of technical progress, verify that design risks are minimized, substantiate achievement of contract technical performance, and certify readiness for initial operational testing.
    DT generally requires instrumentation and measurements and is accomplished by engineers (contractors or government), technicians, or soldier operator-maintainer test personnel in a controlled environment to facilitate failure analysis.  DT measures the system’s conformance to technical contract specifications, for example, speed, range, maneuverability, etc.  It provides the verification and validation of the systems engineering process and provides confidence that the system design solution is on track to satisfy the desired capabilities. It can be done at a contractor’s plant or a government test range.
    There might even be some operational testing (OT) in the form of an Early Operational Assessment (EOA).  An EOA is an operational assessment (OA) conducted early in an acquisition program, often on subsystems and early prototype equipment, to forecast and evaluate the potential operational effectiveness and suitability of the system during development. EOAs also assist in determining any system-unique test assets for future developmental and operational tests.

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