Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E)

DT&E is the deliberate exercising of virtual or real components or systems, and the evaluation of responses to generate information on capabilities and limitations. DT&E’s value is creating credible, reality-based information to inform decisions that enable progress in providing new or enhanced capabilities. DT&E provides one perspective of system capabilities and limitations and operates in a continuum of contractor verification, developmental T&E, and operational T&E.

DT&E provides timely knowledge to inform decisions related to:

  1. System concepts
  2. Technology and technical maturity
  3. System and subsystem design trades
  4. Production or manufacturing
  5. Operation and sustainment
Graphic for Test & Evaluation Process

DT&E Supports Efficient and Adaptive System Acquisitions

A robust DT&E effort provides the information needed for independent evaluations and risk managed decisions:

  • DT&E is applicable from concept to combat.
  • DT&E starts with concept refinement and continues through capability requirements definition; technology maturity; system development; manufacturing; deployment; operations; and sustainment.
  • DT&E provides feedback on progress toward capability development and improvements, and achieving contractual technical performance.
  • DT&E stresses systems to validate system functionality and capability to operate within the intended operational mission contexts.
  • DT&E assesses readiness for initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) or limited deployment using production or deployment–representative test articles.

DT&E and Integrated Testing

Integrated testing is the collaborative planning and execution of test events to generate shared data for separate evaluations (DoDI 5000.89). Integrated testing promotes efficiency and reduces redundant testing.

Dev and Operational Testing Integration

Integrating Test Events

  • Provides shared data to support independent analysis, evaluation, and reporting by the contractor, developmental, and operational test communities.
  • Accelerates learning of system capabilities and limitations and can reduce the risk of late problem discovery.
  • Provides more efficient use of limited test resources.

DT&E and Integrated Testing

Integrated testing is the collaborative planning and execution of test events to generate shared data for separate evaluations (DoDI 5000.89). Integrated testing promotes efficiency and reduces redundant testing.

Unified Test and Evaluation Framework Chart

Unified T&E Framework

A unified T&E framework uses all credible information to provide acquisition leaders with a more complete understanding of how the systems the Department is developing and acquiring are achieving the goals to improve the capabilities and lethality of our military forces.

DT&E activities supporting the Adaptive Acquisition Framework and USD(R&E) Prototyping and Experimentation efforts provide value to the acquisition community at several levels, from informing decisions about when to proceed through critical development phases, to informing major fielding decisions for new capabilities.

USD(R&E)

DDR&E(AC)

Directorate of Defense Research and
Engineering for Advanced Capabilities
The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301