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Acquisition Program: A directed, funded effort that is designed to provide a new, improved, or continuing weapon system or automated information system (AIS) capability in response to a valid operational need.

Acquisition Categories: Acquisition programs are initiated as a result of a favorable Milestone I decision. Upon initiation, size and complexity shall generally categorize acquisition programs. These acquisition categories (ACATs) are:

ACAT I Programs: ACAT I programs are Major Defense Acquisition Programs. ACAT I programs have two sub-categories:

ACAT ID: The Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) is the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Technology) .

ACAT IC: The MDA is the Army Acquisition Executive (AAE).

ACAT IA Programs: ACAT IA programs are Major Automated Information Systems (MAISs). ACAT IA programs have two sub-categories:

ACAT IAM: The MDA is the Office of the Secretary of Defense Chief Information Officer.

ACAT IAC: The MDA is the Army Chief Information Officer.

ACAT II Programs: ACAT II programs do not meet the dollar thresholds for an ACAT I designation, but do meet the criteria for a major system. The MDA is the AAE.

ACAT III Programs: ACAT III programs are nonmajor programs that are designated by the AAE and managed by a PM who reports to a materiel command or PEO, as designated by the AAE.

ACAT IV Programs: ACAT IV programs represent all other nonmajor acquisition programs and are managed by a systems manager within a materiel command rather than by a PM.

Acquisition Phases:

Phase 0: Concept Exploration (CE)

Phase I: Program Definition and Risk Reduction (PDRR)

Phase II: Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)

Phase III: Production, Fielding/Deployment, and Operational Support (PFDOS)