For close to three decades, the U.S. Congress and the Department of Defense (DoD)
have recognized that government acquisition of commercial products and services
for defense applications can increase competition, reduce costs and expand
access to new technologies, processes and products.
Commercially developed products and services – particularly those determined as commercial “of a type” through the Federal Acquisition
Regulation (FAR) Part 12 framework – bring considerable advantages to the DoD
and to taxpayers.
Under FAR Part 12, as long as a product is “of a type” that is currently
commercial, then the DoD should classify the product as commercial. The military
version of the commercial product can be designed slightly differently, but if
it is “of a type” – or similar to – then it should be a commercial product.
Once a product obtains a favorable commercial determination, the DoD can rapidly
deploy this advanced technology and ongoing product enhancements to the
warfighter. This helps reduce costs by leveraging commercial investments in R&D
that are typically funded by the U.S. Government under the traditional FAR Part
15 acquisition process.
This allows for easier and less expensive upgrades, mitigating obsolescence,
and reduces barriers to entry into the U.S. government marketplace, increasing competition
and available solutions.