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Military acquisition is the bureaucratic management and procurement process dealing with a nation's investments in the technologies, programs, and product support necessary to achieve its national security strategy and support its armed forces. Its objective is to acquire products that satisfy specified needs and provide measurable improvement to mission capability at a fair and reasonable price.
Modern military acquisition is a complex blend of science, management, and engineering disciplines within the context of a nation's law and regulation framework to produce military material and technology. This complexity evolved from the increasing complexity of weapon systems starting in the 20th century. For example, the Manhattan Project involved more than 130,000 people at an estimated cost of nearly $24 billion in 2008 dollars.
In the twenty-first century, the trend has been for countries to cooperate in military procurement, due to the rising cost-per-unit of digital age military hardware such as ships and jets. For example, NORDEFCO (established 2009) is a grouping of Nordic countries that cooperate in defence spending, the Defence and Security Co-operation Treaty was signed between the United Kingdom and France in 2010, and Joint Strike Fighter program which selected the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II in 2001 included the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, Israel and Japan.
Major activities related to military acquisition are:
- Project management/program management
- Product management
- Contract management
- Systems engineering
- Software engineering
- Computer engineering
- Human factors
- Modeling and simulation
In the United States
- Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) Process – Process for strategic planning, program development, and resource determination.
- Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System – The systematic method established by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for assessing gaps in military joint warfighting capabilities and recommending solutions to resolve these gaps.
- Defense Acquisition System – The management process used to acquire weapon systems and automated information system.
Because of the size and scope of such a bureaucracy, the US Department of Defense instituted an extensive training program, known as the Defense Acquisition University.
- Analysis of Alternatives
- Defence Equipment and Support (UK)
- Defence Materiel Organisation (Australia)
- Defense Acquisition University (US)
- Integrated Logistics Support
- Joint Capabilities Integration Development System
- Logistics Support Analysis
- Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
- Defense Acquisition Guidebook, US Department of Defense, Nov 2004
- "Integrated Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Life Cycle Management System Chart", Defense Acquisition University, 28 Jan 2009 
- "The Defense Acquisition System", US DoD Directive Number 5000.1 (DoD D 5000.1), 12 May 2003 
- "Operation of the Defense Acquisition System", US DoD Instruction Number 5000.2 (DoD I 5000.1), 12 May 2003 
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Military acquisition.|
- Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition (ASAF (A)) 
- Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (ASN (RDA)) 
- Defense Acquisition History Project 
- Defense Procurement News 
- United States Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (OASA(ALT)) 
- Defense Acquisition University ACC Practice Center