Defense Exportability Features

DoD's Defense Exportability Features (DEF) initiatives, which include the AT&L DEF Pilot Program and its associated DEF focus area under the Controlling Cost section in Better Buying Power (BBP) 2.0, encourage DoD program management to design and develop technology protection features in systems early in their acquisition life cycle to facilitate earlier foreign sales. Congress authorized Defense Exportability Features (DEF) as a pilot program in FY2011 under the authority of 10 USC 2358 to develop and incorporate technology protection features into designated systems during their research and development phases. In FY 2012, Congress added a requirement for industry to contribute at least half of the cost of any DEF Pilot Program contractual effort. In FY 2015, Congress amended the DEF legislation to make the industry cost share half, unless the Secretary authorizes a different portion deemed appropriate. The USD (AT&L) signed the “DEF Policy Implementation Memorandum and Guidelines” on 9 April 2015, and the Director, AT&L/International Cooperation distributed the “Supplemental Guidance for the Review and Submission of Industry Requests for an Adjusted Cost Sharing Portion” on February 23, 2016, below for procedures to follow if industry requests a lower DEF cost-sharing portion.

This Pilot Program, through supplemental funding from OUSD(A&S)/International Cooperation, encourages DoD acquisition programs that are nominated by their Component Acquisition Executives, and selected by A&S/IC, to assess, design, and incorporate defense exportability features in their systems. Once selected to the pilot program, DEF Pilot Program designated systems have the opportunity to request funding from OUSD(A&S)/IC to perform initial feasibility studies and subsequent design activities associated with designing, developing and implementing DEF. The DEF Pilot Program's primary objectives are to:

  • (1) Demonstrate that costs can be reduced and U.S. products can be made available for foreign sales sooner through the incorporation of DEF in initial designs
  • (2) Garner DEF lessons learned across DoD program experiences to improve the return on investment for future programs. These objectives support DoD's larger goals of enabling foreign sales in order to enhance coalition interoperability, decrease costs to DoD and international partners through production economies of scale, and improve international competitiveness of U.S. defense systems.

If you have any questions about the policy guidance and procedures for the DEF Pilot Program, or incorporating DEF in initial designs for programs not selected to participate in the DEF Pilot Program, please see the DEF policy implementation guidelines and templates on this page or Contact Us.