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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 425-02
August 14, 2002

DOD SELECTS FOREIGN COMPARATIVE TESTING PROGRAMS

The Department of Defense has selected 27 new start projects and 13 continuing projects to receive fiscal year 2003 funding under the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) Program.

Authorized by Congress since 1980, the FCT Program is administered by the director, Strategic and Tactical Systems, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics).

The FCT Program demonstrates 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 27 new start projects for fiscal 2003, five are sponsored by the Army, 11 by the Navy and Marine Corps, four by the Air Force, and seven by the U.S. Special Operations Command. A list of these new projects, and the continuing projects to be funded, is attached. Additional FCT Program information is available on the FCT Homepage on the World Wide Web at http://www.acq.osd.mil/cto/.