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  • Question

    Is CSTF testing for interoperabilty certification required prior to going to an IOTE? Is it required prior to Full Rate Production decision so it can be done in parallel w/ IOTE?


    Answer

    The Central Technical Support Facility (CTSF) is an Army facility to test theater-level system-of-systems products in a net-centric environment. It is the U.S. Army’s strategic and central testing facility responsible for interoperability engineering, executing Army Interoperability Certification (AIC) testing, maintaining configuration control for all operational through tactical-level information technology/national security systems, and supporting deployed warfighters’ digital needs.

    As such, it is primarily responsible for the developmental testing of Army assets that meet the definition.  This would normally be done during the developmental cycle (pre-Milestone C production decision).  IOT&E is the ONLY statutorily required testing for a program.  It is separate and distinct from CTSf testing, and is conducted by independent test agencies (OTAs) under the guidance of DOT&E, and responsible to Congress for its' report out.  As part of the IOT&E for Interoperability concerns, the JTIC (Joint Operability Test Command) headquartered at Ft Huachuca, AZ would be required to provide an Interoperability determination for the program.  The results of the IOT&E (and Interoperability determination) will feed the Full Rate Production Decision (FRPDR).

    For scheduling purposes, the CTSF testing should be done prior to IOT&E in order for the service to determine the readiness of the program for the OTA conducted IOT&E.

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