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    What specific guidance applies to the acquisition of ships?


    Answer

    For ship acquisition, there is guidance, considering there can be significant differences between the acquisition of a ship and a weapon system acquired under the DoD 5000 process.

    The Interim DoDI 5000.2 takes into account the high cost of ships in paragraph 5.d.(10).(b): "Some programs, notably spacecraft and ships, will not produce prototypes during EMD {Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase} for use solely as test articles because of the very high cost of each article. In this case, the first articles produced will be tested and then fielded as operational assets. These programs may be tailored by measures such as combining the development and initial production investment commitments. When this is the case, a combined Milestone B and C will be conducted." 

    The SECNAV Instruction 5000.2E has a number of references to differences with acquiring ships, among which are:
    • "Normally program initiation will occur at milestone B, but may occur at the start of TD {Technology Demonstration Phase - now known as the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) Phase}, milestone A, for shipbuilding programs. For shipbuilding programs not started at milestone A, the CDD {Capability Development Document} will be validated and approved prior to program initiation."
    • "In the case of shipbuilding, lead and initial follow ships are normally approved at milestone B."
    • "In the case of shipbuilding programs, the FRP DR{Full Rate Production Decision Review} shall be held to provide the MDA the results of the completion of IOT&E, authorize the construction of the remaining follow ships, and satisfy the requirements of [the] instruction"
    The Naval Sea Systems Command issued Technical Publication S9800-AC-MAN-010, "Ship Design Manager (SDM) and Systems Integration Manager (SIM) Manual," 13 February 2012.  This document, in particular chapter 2 and Appendices B through I, provides the Ship/System Design and the Acquisition Process. Figure 2-1 shows how conduct of a typical ship design and acquisition program aligns to acquisition process defined by DoD Instruction 5000.02.  This particular manual would probably be the most beneficial when looking at differences between a ship acquisition and a "standard" weapon system acquisition.

    If you have any further questions, I would be happy to try to answer them.

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