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An Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) documents the need for a materiel approach, or an approach that is a combination of materiel and non-materiel, to satisfy specific capability gap(s). The ICD defines the gap in terms of the functional area; the relevant range of military operations; desired effects; time and Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTMLPF); and policy implications and constraints. The outcome of an ICD could be one or more DOTMLPF Change Recommendations (DCRs) or Capability Development Documents.
The Initial Capability Document (ICD) is probably the single most important document that defines the requirements and establishes ensuing acquisition activities to develop, produce and field systems. The ICD describes the capability gap derived from the Joint Capability and Integration Development System (JCIDS) analysis process, and proposes materiel approaches to resolve the gap. It considers the DIA-validated threats, operational environment, joint concepts and other considerations to capture the evaluation of different materiel approaches. The ICD is not normally updated once approved. It becomes the baseline document for linkages between associated Capability Development Documents (CDDs) and Capability Production Documents (CPDs). The ICD supports the Analysis of Alternatives (AOA), Technical Development Strategy (TDS), Milestone A decisions, and subsequent TD phase activities.
The ICD is clear, complete, reasonable, testable and stable. It describes joint concepts, interface and interoperability requirements.
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