For rationale, the JPO argued that MRAP was a mature design based on 30-year-old technology—it is basically an armored truck. The MDA and OSD staff declined the waiver, requiring the JPO to petition the Office of Naval Research for a TRA on a system that was already fielded and proven in use in Iraq and Afghanistan (Hansen, 2008, May
The JPO implemented its acquisition strategy through a tailored approach to the acquisition framework. It began by leveraging FPII’s existing, active production line with a sole-source contract for immediate production. This started production on a proven vehicle design and expanded the industrial base by ramping up a production facility. Next, a RFP was released to industry in an attempt to get as many respondents as possible, with the intent of leveraging their combined production capabilities as quickly as possible. Upon receiving bids from ten manufacturers, the JPO performed a technical review and assigned risk to the various manufacturers and their designs. IDIQ contracts were subsequently awarded to nine companies with immediate production orders for test vehicles.8 In addition, the JPO awarded larger production orders under LRIPs9 1 and 2 in February 2007 to the five manufacturers considered low-risk. These orders, placed prior to testing, represent deliberate risk acceptance by the PM in an effort to initiate production on vehicles considered likely to meet minimum requirements. The high risk manufacturers, on the other hand, did not receive LRIP contracts until they
8 The initial production orders called for two prototypes per vehicle category (CAT I and II only) per
manufacturers. (9 manufacturers x 2 prototypes x 2 categories = 36 vehicles in the initial production orders.)
9 As defined by AR 70-1, LRIP (Low rate initial production) is:
1. The first effort of the Production and Deployment (P&D) phase. The purpose of this effort is to establish an initial production base for the system, permit an orderly ramp-up sufficient to lead to a smooth transition to full rate production (FRP), and to provide production representative articles for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) and full-up live fire testing. This effort concludes with a Full Rate Production Decision Review (FRPDR) to authorize Full Rate Production and Deployment (FRP&D).
2. The minimum number of systems (other than ships and satellites) to provide production representative articles for Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E), to establish an initial production base and to permit an orderly increase in the production rate sufficient to lead to full rate production (FRP) upon successful completion of operational testing (OT). For major defense acquisition programs (MDAPs), LRIP quantities in excess of 10 percent of the acquisition objective must be reported in the Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) (Department of the Army, 2003, p.82).