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Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E)

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DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION

1.) Any testing used to assist in the development and maturation of products, product elements, or manufacturing or support processes. 2.) Any engineering-type test used to verify status of technical progress, verify that design risks are minimized, substantiate achievement of contract technical performance, and certify readiness for initial operational testing. Development tests generally require instrumentation and measurements and are accomplished by engineers, technicians, or soldier operator-maintainer test personnel in a controlled environment to facilitate failure analysis.

Alternate Definition
Developmental Test & Evaluation is the type of testing which verifies that the system under test meets all technical requirements.
  1. Any testing used to assist in the development and maturation of products, product elements, or manufacturing or support processes.
  2. Any engineering-type test used to verify status of technical progress, verify that design risks are minimized, substantiate achievement of contract technical performance, and certify readiness for initial operational testing. Developmental tests generally require instrumentation and measurements and are accomplished by engineers, technicians, or soldier operator-maintainer test personnel in a controlled environment to facilitate failure analysis.
General Information

DoD employs three formal types of T&E (directed by statute) in the acquisition of systems administered by OSD: Developmental Test & Evaluation (DT&E), Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) and Live Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E). DT&E verifies that the system’s design is satisfactory and that all technical specifications and contract requirements have been met. Sometimes called Technical Testing, DT&E is sponsored by the program office and can be conducted by the government, by the contractor, or may be a mix of both. Most early DT&E in a program will likely be done at the contractor’s facilities under controlled, laboratory conditions. Later in the program DT&E is often conducted at government test facilities by government or combined government and contractor test teams. OT&E follows DT&E and validates that the system under test can effectively execute its mission in a realistic operational environment when operated by typical operators against representative threats. The difference between DT&E and OT&E is that DT&E verifies that the system is built correctly in accordance with the specification and contract, and OT&E validates that the system can successfully accomplish its mission is a realistic operational environment. LFT&E combines with both DT&E and OT&E to assess the vulnerability and/or lethality of a system before it is approved for full-rate production.