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    I'm looking for clarification of SECNAVINST 5000.2E and DoD 5000 description of an ACAT III program. The policies state "Weapon system programs: -RDT&E total ? $140 million, or Procurement total ? $660 million, and -Affects mission characteristics of ships or aircraft or combat capability". Where the language states "combat capability", is that referring to ship systems combat capability or warfighter capability in general? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


    Answer

    In reading the SECNAV Instruction 5000.2E, Table E1T1 -  Description and Decision Authority for ACAT I-IV and AAP Programs, the language seems to refer to the mission characteristics of Naval combat capability in general; not a ship’s combat capability.  This seems to refer to if a weapon system program’s combat capability is affected, it could be designated an ACAT III program. 

    The intent here seems to refer to mission characteristics of a combat capability the Navy possesses other than ships or aircraft.  That combat capability might include systems/hardware that exist separately from ships or aircraft, yet necessary for the Navy to function in combat.  For example, a brand new type of Navy refueling depot requiring development (or some lesser capability) could be considered a combat capability, but it is neither a ship nor an aircraft.


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