CRS – Defense Acquisitions: How DOD Acquires Weapon Systems and Recent Efforts to Reform the Process. Moshe Schwartz, Specialist in Defense Acquisition. January 2, 2013.
“The Department of Defense (DOD) acquires goods and services from contractors, federal arsenals, and shopyards to support military operations. Acquisition is a broad term that applies to more than just the purchase of an item or service; the acquisition process encompasses the design, engineering, construction, testing, deployment, sustainment, and disposal of weapons or related items purchased from a contractor. From a policy perspective, federal regulations and federal law generally use the terms acquisition and procurement interchangeably. This is not to be confused with the budget definition of procurement that generally references the Procurement budget account—a funding stream that is distinct from Research and Development, Operations and Maintenance, and other budget categories. DOD’s acquisition system is highly complex, and it does not always produce systems that meet estimated cost or performance expectations. Congress has been concerned with the structure of the defense acquisition system for many years.”