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This year's annual GAO Weapon Systems Assessment was released on 8 Jun 21. The subtitle of this year's report is, "Updated Program Oversight Approach Needed" as this is the first report to include the Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA) pathway introduced in DoDI 5000.80 in December 2019. The report's web page features Fast Facts, Highlights, Recommendations, and a 7-minute podcast in addition to the full report.
The 244-page report contains assessments on 64 individual weapon programs and three summary analyses segmented by the three military departments:
- two-page assessments on 34 Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) that are primarily in development or early production;
- one-page assessments on 6 future MDAPs;
- one-page assessments on 7 MDAPs that were well into production, but planned to introduce new increments of capability;
- two-page assessments of 17 programs using the Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA) pathway.
Technology maturity is one of the factors assessed by the GAO for each program. I recommend you review the report.
OUSD(R&E) published DoDI 5000.93 on 10 Jun 21. It cancels and incorporates DTM 19-006 from March 2019 and "establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and details procedures regarding the implementation and use of additive manufacturing (AM) within the DoD."
Among 15 other responsibilities, USD(R&E):
"b. Provides resources for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E); science; and technology initiatives in AM and aligns investments in organizations with DoD AM priorities.
"c. Designates a lead individual for AM to chair the joint additive manufacturing working group (JAMWG), a joint-DoD AM forum to collaborate, share best practices, and prioritize joint efforts necessary to carry out AM, under the oversight of the Joint Defense Manufacturing Council (JDMC) [established November 2020], a senior DoD leadership council focused on manufacturing."
For more on AM, consult the DAU Additive Manufacturing Community of Practice (CoP).
AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate's Manufacturing Technolology (ManTech) division (AFRL/RXM) publishes a periodic Manufacturing Technology newsletter called ManTech Times. Their latest edition is for Summer 2021. It is apparently available via email subscription only. To subscribe, email the following:
Articles in the Summer 2021 edition:
- AFRL and Manufacturing Technology, Inc., Advance Linear Friction Welding
- AFRL supports University of Texas Innovation Showcase presentation to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council
- Deep dive workshop provides critical input to ManTech's augmented reality research roadmap
- ManTech executing $108.6M of FY21 Congressional Interest Items (CIIs)
- RXM publishes Manufacturing Technology Open Broach Agency Announcement (BAA)
- RXM Recent and Upcoming Presentations
- Personnel Update
- Acting Division Chief's Corner
Episode 24 of the Mitchell Aerospace Advantage podcast series, released 31 May 21, is titled "Engineering the Future: Air Force S&T." A description of episode 24, which runs just over 49 minutes, from their site follows:
"In episode 24 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast: Engineering the Future: Air Force S&T, host John “Slick” Baum sits down with Maj Chris Olsen to discuss air and space power innovation. As an Air Force engineer, Maj Olsen has worked on some of the most sophisticated programs in the service’s science and technology portfolio—including manned-unmanned teaming and autonomy. It’s no secret that the history of aerospace power is full of technological competitions. Miss a step on the technological ladder and you could find yourself on the losing side of a war. Learn how the Air Force identifies challenges, explores how technology can be part of the solution, and then invents what was previously the impossible. It all comes down to people with the right insights, drive, and determination.
"Maj Chris Olsen is a U.S. Air Force military fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. The views expressed in this interview are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government."
On 7 May 2021, DoD released 13 instructions and manuals, one of which is a new one in the 5000 series. DoDI 5000.92, "Innovation and Technology to Sustain Materiel Readiness," is brand new, I think; there was no corresponding section in DoDI 5000.02T. The new instruction can be found at:
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