Management of systems engineering and technical assistance of DARPA research programs

Currently a vast number of scientific publications in Russia and abroad are devoted to the phenomenon of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Success factors of the Agency are usually identified as: a recruitment policy of research managers, scientific resources of the Agency’s contractors, unique super-system of the DARPA's external environment and significant costs of R&D initiatives spent by the US Department of Defense. At the same time, systems engineering and technical assistance (SETA) contracting in the implementation of DARPA's high-risk projects have been neglected as a rule by the time. This paper describes the role of SETA-support contractors in ensuring the success of DARPA's ambitious projects and the impact of government contracts technical support on perspective defense R&D programs. The SETA rate in total R&D expenditures of DARPA are evaluated as 7,4-9,9%. Finally, the possibility of implementation of best practices and experiences of SETA system utilization for technological support of perspective high-risk R&D programs for governmental Russian agencies is analyzed.

Keywords: defense research, DARPA, federal contract system, systems engineering and technical assistance, SETA support


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