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The use of COTS items, including Non-Developmental Items (NDI), can provide significant opportunities for efficiencies during system development but also can introduce certain issues that should be considered and mitigated if the program is to realize the expected benefits.  

The primary benefits of using COTS components in system design are to: 

  • Reduce development time. 
  • Allow faster insertion of new technology. 
  • Lower life cycle costs by taking advantage of the more readily available and up-to-date commercial industrial base. 

For more information on COTS as a design consideration, see the Systems Engineering Guidebook, Section 5.4.