Maritime Accelerated Acquisition Process

Maritime Accelerated Acquisition Process

ADM Richardson, CNO, signed OPNAVINST 5000.53A, US Navy Maritime Accelerated Acquisition on 19 Oct 18. It’s purpose is to:

a. To implement policies contained in reference (a) to deliver mission critical warfighting capabilities as rapidly as feasible using authorized acquisition processes.
b. This revision removes the term “Maritime Accelerated Capabilities Office,” defines “maritime accelerated acquisition (MAA)” as the only term used for programs designated by the Accelerated Acquisition Board of Directors (AA BoD), explains the execution of the MAA process, and includes appropriate financial organizations in the development of the acquisition plan. This instruction is a complete revision and should be reviewed in its entirety.


a. The MAA process outlined in enclosure (1) provides options for rapidly fielding material solutions to address gaps against fielded or nearly fielded threat capabilities, to provide key enablers in support of the National Defense Strategy, to take advantage of emerging technology developmental opportunities, or to support addressing urgent operational needs, joint urgent operational needs, and joint emergent operational needs. By their very nature, MAA programs and projects have Navy leadership’s complete warfighting focus. The provisions of this instruction are consistent with existing directives that address requirements, resourcing, and acquisition policies outlined in references (b) through (f).

b. MAA programs are specifically designated by the AA BoD, co-chaired by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition (ASN (RD&A)). These programs are afforded the same accelerated acquisition authorities granted by Congress as other acceleration efforts, but are also afforded highest-priority funding and the opportunity to compete for rapid prototyping, experimentation, and demonstration (RPED) funding (see subparagraph 3c below). For all other non-MAA programs, such as programs of record and modernization efforts, the same authorities should be exercised as appropriate for more efficient and timely acquisition; however, their funding priority will be determined within the normal requirements and resourcing process and they will not compete for RPED funding.

c. In some cases, a demonstration may be helpful, or needed, to test a new technology, to test the re-purposing of an existing technology, or to pursue rapid prototyping of a new capability in order to inform the development of a potential solution and subsequent associated strategy. If recommended and approved by the AA BoD as a necessary step, the MAA designated effort will be included in the RPED funding line.

d. For consistency of external messaging, only efforts under AA BoD cognizance, so-designated and having funding priority within Navy, are to be conveyed as an MAA effort, both internally and externally to Navy.

e. Because AA BoD-designated MAA programs have funding priority, there is value in keeping them few in number. Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (CNO N9) will aggressively move MAA efforts to final disposition as quickly as possible in order to preserve the effectiveness of the process and to remain postured for quickly responding to the next effort.

Scope and Applicability

This instruction applies to all U.S. Navy organizations performing or engaging in any activity related to the MAA paths. This instruction does not supersede or modify the assignment of responsibilities in SECNAVINST 5430.7R.


a. Per reference (a), the AA BoD will review and oversee MAA policies, processes, programs, and projects.

b. Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (CNO N9) will:
(1) convene the AA BoD quarterly, or more frequently as necessary, either live or electronically, to consider new MAA proposals and to provide program updates;
(2) serve as the executive agent regarding the introduction of candidate capabilities into the AA BoD process for approval in collaboration with Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (DASN) for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E);
(3) serve as the execution lead and manager of the MAA process;
(4) coordinate with DASN (RDT&E), DASN for Budget (FMB), and, if applicable, the appropriate defense acquisition executive, to recommend to the AA BoD the strategy and funding requirement for each designated MAA program;
(5) coordinate with ASN (RD&A) on communications with defense committees;
(6) coordinate monthly meetings with cognizant program executive officers to review status and to prepare AA BoD and Congressional updates;
(7) track implementation and compliance of reference (a) and this instruction, and coordinate updates to the process;
(8) maintain records of MAA decisions, and as appropriate track execution through final disposition; and
(9) record and disseminate the minutes and decisions of AA BoD meetings.

Records Management

a. Records created as a result of this instruction, regardless of format or media, must be maintained and dispositioned for the standard subject identification codes 1000 through 13000 series per the records disposition schedules located on the Department of the Navy/Assistant for Administration (DON/AA), Directives and Records Management Division (DRMD) portal page at

b. For questions concerning the management of records related to this instruction or the records disposition schedules, please contact the local records manager or the DON/AA DRMD program office.

The MAA process enables rapid development, demonstration, and fielding of capability to the fleet. By their very nature, MAA programs and projects have near-term warfighting urgency and are afforded the highest funding priority.

The MAA Process consists of four phases: 

Validation of the Requirement and Review of Candidate Material Options

The MAA process begins with the identification of an operational warfighting capability gap against a threat capability, or a near-term opportunity to create or widen a warfighting advantage. The MAA process is aligned to support fleet urgent operational needs, joint urgent operational needs, and joint emergent operational needs, or other operational need statements from senior leaders. In all cases, the requirement is forwarded to CNO N9 for adjudication regarding recommendation to the AA BoD.

(1) In coordination with DASN (RDT&E) and DASN (FMB), a CNO N9-directed assessment team will evaluate the capability gap and candidate materiel solutions. CNO N9 and DASN (RDT&E) will then jointly provide a recommendation regarding designation as an MAA program to the AA BoD within 30 calendar days of identification of the requirement.

(2) The assessment team will include fleet representatives, resource sponsors, financial management and acquisition community representatives, members of the Naval Research and Development Establishment, Office of the Secretary of Defense representatives, federally funded research and development centers, academic institutions, and technical and subject matter experts, as applicable.

(3) At a minimum, the 30-day assessment will use the guidance in subparagraphs 2a(3)(a) through 2a(3)(e) below in the evaluation.
(a) Feasibility of candidate material solutions via an existing program, modification to an existing program, or a new effort.
(b) Whether the solution can be accelerated (using authorities and funding priority).
(c) Whether the solution should be accelerated and assigned funding priority (versus other high-priority programs, risks, and costs).
(d) Interoperability with existing systems and plans.
(e) RPED funding opportunities or implications.

Acquisition and Funding Strategy

Within 60 days of program approval by the AA BoD, the assessment team will develop a comprehensive program execution strategy.

This strategy will include the following, at a minimum.

  • Programmatic detail and acquisition approach, including applicable acceleration authorities, projected cost, technical trades, anticipated waiver requests, risks, and anticipated disposition strategy.
  • Minimal theoretical timeline for fielding the capability (in context with the pace of the threat), hurdles to achieving it, plan to clear hurdles (with AA BoD help, if needed), and anticipated realistic timeline (i.e., with remaining hurdles still in place).
  • Specific RPED funding objective and cost, if applicable.
  • Congressional interest, history, and engagement strategy with the targeted capability, or former similar efforts.

When the execution strategy is approved, the AA BoD chairs will sign a designation memorandum to CNO N9, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources (CNO N8), DASN (RDT&E), and DASN (FMB). CNO N9 will then forward the memorandum to the appropriate defense committee staff members for notification.


MAA program execution and reporting will be completed per reference (a). MAA program leadership is empowered to make appropriate decisions to maximize acceleration of the program. To that end, Navy acquisition (program executive officers), requirements (CNO N9), and financial communities (CNO N8 and DASN (FMB)) must remain sensitive to the aggressive execution and high funding priority of designated MAA programs. By their very nature, MAA programs and projects have significant leadership warfighting focus, and as Navy seeks to field these specific capabilities quickly, legacy budget and acquisition processes will undoubtedly be stressed. Accordingly, execution of these programs will require additional diligence, oversight, and communication to promote transparency, avoid surprises, and, above all, to field the capability as quickly as possible. Designated programs are expected to be delivered within the time period approved by the AA BoD.


Fundamental to the effectiveness of the MAA process is keeping the number of programs as few as possible, maximizing the benefit of their associated funding priority while avoiding being disruptive to the overall funding process. Accordingly, the AA BoD will be motivated to move programs to disposition quickly, providing the opportunity to focus on programs earlier in the process while keeping the aperture open for the next MAA opportunity. Programs will execute under the MAA designation until disposition by the AA BoD, which may include: continuation to the next decision point, returning the MAA to science and technology, sustainment, transition to programs of record, or termination. Transition to programs of record carries the expectation that the program will continue to be funded, unless there is a compelling warfighting change or a better solution. Disposition decisions will be documented by CNO N9 via decision memorandum, which will be forwarded to stakeholders and appropriate defense committee staff members for notification.


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