Technology and Policy: System Acquisition in a Complex Operational Environment

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Systems Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the Annual General Donald R. Keith Memorial Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


The United States’ (US) ability to maintain a technological edge in the current operational environment is challenged by the increased ability of near-peer nations to produce military technology. In response to this problem, the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) seeks to model the three key elements of military system acquisition—context, product, and process—to develop a more comprehensive understanding regarding how and why nations acquire technical solutions. Through the application of the System Dynamics Modeling Process (SDMP), this research examines the interactions between the strategic context of Germany, the military products it acquires to address its operational needs, and the processes it employs to acquire military technology. The results of this research indicate that numerous dynamic variables of context impact the acquisitions process for Germany, particularly political support and subsequent monetary allocations to research and development.

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