This thesis examines the theoretical and practical aspects of simulation based acquisition (SBA). SBA may provide the Defense acquisition community with a means to improve the acquisition process by reducing both cost and acquisition cycle time, as well as leading to better system performance. In the past, the acquisition community applied computer models and simulations in a less than optimal manner. Recent use of computer models and simulations produced encouraging resource savings. However, the acquisition community has not yet fully realized the potential benefits of applying M&S to the acquisition process. This thesis also discusses lessons learned from application of SBA to commercial ventures that may help the Department of Defense develop an integrated set of computer models and simulations to improve weapon system acquisition across functional disciplines. Finally, this thesis discusses the need for an acquisition research laboratory and proposes a SBA laboratory environment as a means of further developing and implementing SBA.
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