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Prototype Models


A preliminary type, form, or instance of a system or system element that serves as a model for what comes later. Risk reduction prototypes are used to materially reduce engineering and manufacturing development risk at an acceptable cost. They can be at the system level or can focus on sub-systems or components. Prototypes can be used to reduce technical risk, validate designs, validate cost estimates, evaluate manufacturing processes, and/or refine requirements. Competitive prototypes are produced by two or more teams who are competing for a contract award.

Alternate Definition

A physical or virtual model used to evaluate the technical or manufacturing feasibility or military utility of a particular technology or process, concept, end item, or system.

General Information

Prototype models have various types depending the phase of the system life cycle. Prototype models range from the early development phase to production ready as from breadboard, brass-board, engineering development model to production repetitive models. Prototype models are mainly built to evaluate the design during the Technology Development and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase, and the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase. A prototype model may also be the result of a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) or Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD). Selected prototype models may continue after Milestone C, as required, to identify and resolve specific design or manufacturing risks, or in support of Evolutionary Acquisition (EA).