Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology Paul G. Kaminski
announced today the appointment of Larry Lynn as the director of the Advanced
Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Prior to his appointment, which is effective
immediately, Lynn served for two years as the deputy under secretary of Defense
for Advanced Technology.
Kaminski also announced his transition plan for management of the Advanced
Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTD) program, a new mechanism to rapidly
transfer technology from developers to warfighters. He explained the
importance of ACTDs and identified 10 on-going ACTDs and 12 Fiscal Year 1996
new ACTD starts.
Lynn has played a key role in establishing the ACTD program. In addition to
his new post as director of ARPA, Kaminski has asked him to retain his current
position and responsibility for ACTDs through the planning cycle for FY 1996
starts. Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Ballistic Missile
Defense Tom Perdue will become the deputy assistant to Lynn to help lead the
ACTDs are playing a significant role in the Department's efforts to reform and
streamline acquisition processes. They are user-oriented and even
user-dominated. They represent an integrated effort to assemble and
demonstrate a significant, new and improved military capability that is based
upon mature advanced technologies. They also are at a scale size adequate to
establish operational utility and system integrity.
ACTDs are implemented with the operational user and material development
communities as key participants. ACTDs allow the warfighting user to:
Evaluate a technology's military utility before committing to a major
acquisition effort; develop concepts of operation for employing the new
technology; and retain a low-cost residual operational capability. There are
three characteristic hallmarks of an ACTD: There is usually joint service
involvement in the program; ACTDs allow warfighters to perform an early
operational assessment of a system concept; and there is usually some residual
operational capability left in place at the completion of an ACTD.
Kaminski stressed that prototyping and early user involvement in product
assessment and tactics development reduce development time to initial
operational capability. As opposed to a more traditional acquisition approach,
under which the material developer first produces an item and then "hands it
off" serially to the user, he said ACTDs take full advantage of the Integrated
Product and Process Development approach currently used by commercial industry
to ensure shorter cycle times, lower costs and more rapid delivery to the
Explaining that ACTDs marry technology and employment doctrine, Kaminski added
that this is one thing that has not been given adequate emphasis in the past.
He said the Department had traditionally underestimated the importance of
developing the appropriate doctrine, the tactics for employment, the training
and the people who use technology advanced systems. The real issue, he
concluded, is how the Department can do more with less where the measure is not
simply in developing the best technology or even building the best equipment,
but in getting this combination in the field and using it wisely.
Two on-going and four new start ACTDs were highlighted as being representative
of the program's innovative goals:
. High Altitude Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: Provide design-to-cost,
long endurance, all weather, wide area imagery coverage directly to the
warfighter for a $10 million unit flyaway price.
. Miniature Air Launched Decoy: Demonstrate a low cost, lightweight, decoy
designed to increase the effectiveness and survivability of strike aircraft.
. Joint Countermine: Demonstrate the capability to conduct seamless
amphibious mine countermeasures forward from the sea.
. Counter-Proliferation: Demonstrate the counterforce capability to survey
and strike hardened weapons of mass destruction storage and production
. Combat Identification: Demonstrate enhanced air-to-ground and
ground-to-ground combat operations made possible by reliable identification.
. Air Base/Port Biological Detection: Demonstrate the ability to
automatically detect and identify, in near real time, a biological threat to
air base or port facilities.
Kaminski said he intends to increase the emphasis on ACTDs. He called the
program a critical initiative to improve the Department's response to the
operational user's needs and to decrease the time and cost to get new
capabilities into the field. Kaminski added that ARPA has made key
contributions to the ACTD initiative and anticipated it would continue to do
so. Management of ACTDs will continue to be an Office of the Under Secretary
of Defense for Acquisition and Technology function.