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  • Question

    Why would a model that's written as software intensive be labeled as Hardware dominant?? Not enough information is given in the instruction to further differentiate Model 5 from Model 6. What is the key feature(s) between the two hybrid ACQ programs??


    Answer

    A “hardware dominant” hybrid program means that the HARDWARE development, design, testing and fabrication of physical prototypes DETERMINES the overall schedule, decision points and milestone. This doesn’t preclude intensive software development as part of the overall program. That’s what hybrid means – the program does NOT consist solely of hardware or software development.

    A “software dominant” hybrid system means that the SOFTWARE development dominates and is the focal point of the program, e.g., an Identification Friend of Foe (IFF) system designed to identify and categorize targets for engagement. While the dominating feature of the program is software development, the software must be hosted on a platform of some kind – this is the hardware part of the hybrid program.

    The key feature discriminating between the Hybrid A (Hardware Dominant) and Hybrid B (Software Dominant) models is the type of program. For example, the F-35 plane can be categorized as a Hybrid A (Hardware Dominant) program – the plane is the focal point of the program but it is heavily reliant on software to meet its capability requirements. This is in contrast to an IFF system that is hosted on a platform or computer network. Developing and fielding the IFF software dominates the program not the platform that the software is hosted on, although obviously the host platform must be suitable for the software.

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