The Department of Defense has selected 11 new start projects and 32 previously approved continuing projects to receive fiscal 2002 funding under the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) Program.
Authorized by Congress since 1980, the program is administered by the Office of the Director of Strategic and Tactical Systems, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics).
The FCT Program responds to a growing awareness of the value of using non-developmental items to accelerate the acquisition process and cut rising development costs. The principal objective of the FCT Program is to support the U.S. warfighter by leveraging non-developmental items of allied and other friendly nations to satisfy U.S. defense requirements more quickly and economically.
Given a world-class foreign item, U.S. user interest in the item, a valid operational requirement, and good procurement potential, the FCT Program reduces the acquisition cycle for fielding needed systems and equipment not otherwise available. At the same time, by promoting competition and eliminating unnecessary research, development, test and evaluation expenses, the FCT Program reduces total ownership costs of military systems while enhancing standardization and interoperability and promoting international cooperation.
Each year, the military services and U.S. Special Operations Command nominate candidate projects to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for FCT funding consideration. Each proposed project is screened to ensure the non-developmental item addresses valid requirements, a thorough market survey was conducted to identify all potential contenders and the sponsor has developed a viable acquisition strategy to procure the foreign item if it tests successfully and offers best value.
Of the 11 new start projects for fiscal 2002, three are sponsored by the Army, four by the Navy and Marine Corps, two by the Air Force and two by the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Summaries of the projects selected for fiscal year 2002 funding are on the Web at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Oct2001/d20011012fct.pdf. Additional information about the FCT Program is on the Web at http://www.acq.osd.mil/cto/.