United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Release

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

News Release


Release No: 357-95
June 28, 1995


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 ACTD team.

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 customer.

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 facilities.

. 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.

Additional Links

Stay Connected