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Systems Engineering in Materiel Solution Analysis

AETM 040


A methodical and disciplined approach for the specification, design, development, realization, technical management, operations, and retirement of a system.

Alternate Definition
(Note: This article is updated to reflect the interim DoDI 5000.02 Change 2 dated February 2, 2017)

The purpose of the Materiel Solution Analysis (MSA) phase is to refine the initial concept and develop a Technology Development Strategy (TDS). Systems engineering activities in this phase:
  • Examine the alternatives and identify a preferred solution
  • Provide a technical evaluation of the operational effectiveness and estimated costs of the alternative system concepts
  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives under consideration
  • From a Systems Engineering perspective, the essence of Materiel Solution Analysis is a top-down decomposition and allocation of system concepts into progressively more detailed functional definitions.
    Key Phase Characteristics:
    • User capabilities to be expressed in terms of system performance requirements
    • First substantial opportunity to influence system design considering risks
    • AoA conducted to capture range of product options
    • Acquisition Strategy (AS) developed
General Information

Inputs to Material Solution Analysis Phase typically include:


  • An approved Initial Capabilities Document (ICD)
  • An Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) Plan
  • Alternate Maintenance & Sustainment Concepts
  • Additional Inputs:
    • Information resulting from study contracts and trade studies that analyze various materiel solutions and technology approaches
    • Various preliminary architectures Supportability objectives and goals


Outputs to Material Solution Analysis Phase typically include:


Figure 1. Material Solution Analysis (MSA) Phase

  • Preliminary System Specification
  • Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP)
  • Systems Engineering Plan (SEP)
  • System Safety Analysis
  • Support and Maintenance Concepts and Technologies
  • Inputs to:
    • Cost/Manpower Estimate
    • Draft Capabilities Design Document (CDD)
    • Initial Baseline Review (IBR)
    • Acquisition Strategy (AS)
    • Cybersecurity planning