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Foreign Comparative Testing

The mission of the Foreign Comparative Testing Program is to test items and technologies of our foreign allies and friends that have a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) in order to satisfy valid defense requirements more quickly and economically. In fulfilling this mission, FCT continues to be a uniquely successful acquisition tool from a U.S. Government-to-Foreign Industry standpoint. Since 1980, the FCT Program has helped to foster the two-way street in defense spending between the U.S. and its Allies through the procurement of more than $5 billion in foreign items. At the same time, the program has reaped substantial savings by avoiding research and development costs, lowering procurement costs, reducing risk for major acquisition programs, and accelerating the fielding of equipment critical to the readiness and safety of U.S. operating forces. While the aim of the FCT Program is to improve the U.S. Armed Forces’ operational performance, this leveraging of foreign research and development has benefited the U.S. taxpayer. Additionally, the FCT Program has served as a catalyst for industry teaming arrangements, which have been productive for both U.S. and foreign industries in an increasingly competitive global market, helping to build a robust U.S. defense industrial base.

Within the FCT Program, foreign items are nominated by a sponsoring organization within the Department of Defense for testing in order to determine whether the items satisfy U.S. military requirements or address mission area shortcomings. The OSD Comparative Technology Office funds testing and evaluation; the Services fund all procurements that result from a successful test.

The FCT Program’s objectives are to improve the U.S. warfighter’s capabilities and reduce expenditures through:

  1. Rapidly fielding quality military equipment
  2. Eliminating unnecessary duplication of research, development, test, and evaluation
  3. Reducing life cycle or procurement costs
  4. Enhancing standardization and interoperability
  5. Promoting competition by qualifying alternative sources
  6. Improving the U.S. military industrial base

For an overview of the FCT program, click here.

For the 2017 FCT Handbook, click here.

For all other FCT reference materials, click here.