The question is: What requires an upgrade (at the ACAT IV threshold) to be operationally tested and hence designated as an ACAT IVT?
The second part of this question is: What is the criteria (metrics) for determining if an ACAT IV program requires operational testing? Is it a change to a KPP or something else?
Part 1: As noted, MCOTEA makes the final determination (with input from the PM/PdM) whether a program or modification to a program previously classified as IVM requires operational testing – it is a judgment call on a case-by-case basis.
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Part 2: The addition of a new Key Performance Parameter or a change of a KPP to a more stressing performance level would certainly be one consideration – probably a definitive one. In general, operational testing confirms a system’s operational effectiveness (ability to meet the mission) and operational suitability (“field worthiness,” that is, safety and logistic supportability). Any modification significantly affecting a system’s operational effectiveness or suitability thus would be a candidate for operational testing, but there is no checklist or reference that requires MCOTEA to classify a particular type of mod as requiring OT (or not requiring OT). Again, it’s a judgment call for MCOTEA trying to do its due diligence to ensure the equipment in Marines’ hands is effective and supportable in the field.