DIIG Current Issues No. 7: Case Study: The Drivers of a Successful COTS Acquisition
March 13, 2009
The efforts of the U.S. Department of Defense to match equipment acquisitions strategy with policy choices and effectively manage ongoing programs have repeatedly made news as the Obama administration attempts to define its priorities and identify programs that provide value to the warfighter and the taxpayer. Buying commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products has been identified as one method to reduce cost and risk. A February 2009 report by the Defense Science Board (DSB), Buying Commercial: Gaining the Cost/Schedule Benefits for Defense Systems, addresses this issue.
Borrowing DSB’s case study methodology, the Defense Industrial Initiatives Group examined the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program, which John J. Young, under secretary of defense for acquisitions, technology, and logistics, recently referred to as having been “executed reasonably well.”