In the past, AGE management had an individual role in the development and acquisition of a weapons system. With the advent of the Air Force systems management techniques, in implementation of new DOD directives, management of AGE is now part of the total systems management package. The Air Force approach is contained in the 375 series regulations and implemented by the Air Force Systems Command 375 Manuals. Primarily, this paper describes the application of total systems management technique in the definition, design, development, and production of a weapon system. These new management procedures provide the technical basis for the establishment of three baselines, namely, Program Requirements Baseline, Design Requirements Baseline, and Product Configuration Baseline, as well as the development of specifications and control of engineering changes.
The new DOD directives underscore the importance of obtaining, as the output of Contract Definition, achievable performance specifications, backed by a firm fixed-price or fully structured incentive contract. To achieve these objectives, AFSCM 375-5 “Systems Engineering Management Procedures” provides a method for the basic technical information flow to identify total system requirements, including all AGE, the system specification, facilities, procedural data, and trade studies. Hardware and facility configurations are identified and controlled and a uniform specification program conducted within the frame of reference of the aforementioned manuals. This technical documentation provides a ready and accessible means of communications between the Air Force and its contractors, across the engineering and design organization of the contractors, between contractors, and across all technical disciplines.