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Navy Gate Review Process

ALCL 090


Alternate Definition

The Navy's Two-Pass Seven-Gate Governance procedures provide an integrated, collaborative, and disciplined framework for Department of Navy (DON) senior leaders from the requirements, resources, acquisition, and warfighting communities to make sound investment decisions at key points within the Joint Capability Integration and Development System (JCIDS) and the Defense Acquisition System (DAS).   

General Information

The goal of the Two-Pass Seven-Gate Governance procedures is to ensure alignment between Service-generated capability requirements and systems acquisition, while improving senior leadership decision-making through better understanding of risks and costs throughout a program’s entire development cycle. The design and structure of the process is covered in Enclosure (9) of SECNAVINST 5000.2F. This collaborative process among DON senior leaders from multiple communities facilitates the sound investment decision-making.  

The procedures are applicable to the following:

  1. Proposed programs, regardless of Acquisition Category (ACAT) designation, which have capability requirement documents with anticipated or assigned Joint Staffing designators of Joint Capabilities Board (JCB) or Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) interest
  2. Pre-Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP), MDAP (ACAT I), pre-Major Automated Information System (MAIS), and MAIS (ACAT IA) programs.
  3. ACAT II and ACAT III programs that Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN(RD&A)) determines in writing shall be subject to Two-Pass Seven-Gate Governance procedures based on special interest


The Navy's Gate Review Process endorses or approves key JCIDS and other acquisition documents and facilitates decisions regarding DON capabilities and acquisition of corresponding materiel solutions. Throughout the process, the Services (Navy and Marine Corps) retain sole responsibility for capability development and approval while ASN(RD&A) or a designee within the Office of the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) retains the sole authority to make acquisition determinations. For nuclear powered ships, the Director Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (CNO (N00N)) maintains cognizance on all matters pertaining to the propulsion plant.

This process ensures documented requirements are technically achievable at affordable costs and within acceptable risk parameters.  This process also ensures acquisition strategies and resulting contracts clearly state the performance requirements to be achieved within allocated funding and schedule constraints.

For DON acquisition programs subject to the Two-Pass Seven-Gate Governance procedures, the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) may not approve a Materiel Development Decision (MDD) (or the functional equivalent), without concurrence from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) (N8) or Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration (DC, CD&I), as appropriate. The Gate Reviews and Service program decision milestones or program reviews should be combined when appropriate. The acquisition requirements of the DAS are still satisfied even if Gate Reviews and program decision milestones and/or program reviews are combined and an Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) can be issued by the MDA. Gate Reviews satisfy the Program Support Review (PSR) risk assessment requirement for ACAT IC and IAC programs.  

Guidelines for selecting the membership of each review and procedures for how the DON requirements and acquisition process will operate are described in detail in Enclosure (16) of SECNAVINST 5000.2G.

The process is overlaid on the acquisition process of references from the DoD Instruction (DoDI) 5000.02. It is broken into two main sections: Pass 1: The MDD and Materiel Solution Analysis Phases which includes gates 1, 2, and 3; and Pass 2: The Milestone A and Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMMR) Phase through the Operations & Support (O&S) Phase - which includes gates 4, 5, 6 and 7.