Harry Jenkins, test and evaluation command systems chair for the Army Evaluation Center's mounted systems evaluation directorate, has said contractor testing-derived data combined with government insight could help the military speed up the acquisition process.
Jenkins wrote in an article published Friday on DVIDS that BAE Systems came up with a detailed testing plan for the U.S. Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle program that seeks to replace the service's M113 vehicles.
BAE's test design involved the use of government testers and facilities as well as compliance with international test operating processes and AMPV's “operational mode summary and mission profile.”
Jenkins noted that the combination of contractor testing-derived data with government evaluators, testing facilities and methods has helped the company support the development and design work on the AMPV platform.
“For the government, it provides the opportunity to use contractor test data to augment planned government testing, thus enhancing sample size, allowing for longer testing and broadening performance measurements,“ he added.
He said the program manager and Army Test and Evaluation Command should have an opportunity to assess and provide feedback on the contractor's testing plan to meet the testing and evaluation community's requirements.
Jenkins, an Army Acquisition Corps member, cited the need for ATEC to oversee contractor testing to ensure that such tests simulate realistic combat environments in order to detect system failures at an early stage.
“Early discovery minimizes the expense of corrective actions or design changes to mature a concept,“ he added.