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Rand Corporation LogoThe RAND Corporation has an excellent summary of the U.S. Government-Wide and Department of Defense (DoD) Definitions of Research and Development (R&D).  This helps show the differences between the full government’s view and the DoD specific labeling (6.1, 6.2, 6.3…).  This break down in the definitions of R&D is also referred to as the Government’s “Color of Money” which is simply the variant of Government dollars that a program or project can accept or a funding entity may be able to provide.  This is extremely important to understand when planning the Navy Budget.

To focus specifically on the DoD definitions for DoD Acquisition the definitions are:

  • Basic Research (6.1) - Systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and/or observable facts without specific applications toward processes or products in   mind.
  • Applied Research (6.2) - Systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding necessary to determine the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met.
  • Advanced Technology Development (6.3) - Includes all efforts that have moved into the development and integration of hardware for field experiments and tests.
  • Demonstration and Validation (6.4) - Includes all efforts necessary to evaluate integrated technologies in as realistic an operating environment as possible to assess the performance or cost reduction potential of advanced technology.
  • Engineering and Manufacturing Development (6.5) - Includes those projects in engineering and manufacturing development for Service use but which have not received approval for full rate production.
  • Research and Development Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) Management Support (6.6) - Includes R&D efforts directed toward support of installation or operations required for general R&D use. Included would be test ranges, military construction, maintenance support of laboratories, operations and maintenance of test aircraft and ships, and studies and analyses in support of R&D program.
  • Operational System Development (6.7) - Includes those development projects in support of development acquisition programs or upgrades still in engineering and manufacturing development, but which have received Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) or other approval for production, or for which production funds have been included in the DoD budget submission for the budget or subsequent fiscal year.
  • Developmental Test and Evaluation - Efforts associated with engineering or support activities to determine the acceptability of a system, subsystem, or component.
  • Operational Test and Evaluation - Efforts associated with engineering or support activities to determine the acceptability of a system, subsystem, or component.

[via RAND]



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  1. […] you understand the different “colors” of Department of Defense […]

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