U.S. Air Force Updates Space Acquisition Policy
Satellites have short production runs, which means that most of the investment in building them should come during the research and development phase. The National Security Space Acquisition Policy 03-01, adopted in October 2003, recognizes some unique aspects of satellite procurement, and aims to give more senior-level attention to satellite programs at earlier stages of their development.
In keeping with that objective, the Air Force made revisions in late December to:
- Move some milestone reviews to earlier in the acquisition process.
- Provide a more-detailed set of requirements to contractors before they can begin design work on a satellite system.
- Add an engineering milestone review that must be cleared prior to the start of production.
- The revisions also require the Pentagon to fully fund new programs in its future year budget planning before preliminary design work can begin.
The full document can be found here, in PDF format.