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IDA Research Capabilities - SAC

The support that IDA provides to our many sponsor organizations generally is defined by one or more of our ten core research and analytical capabilities covering a broad spectrum of issues related to national security.  In many cases, one of our divisions takes the lead in the analysis although IDA fosters a collaborative environment among its SAC divisions. 

Evaluating Systems and Acquisition Management Issues 

IDA’s divisions support the government’s – primarily Department of Defense – acquisition efforts by analyzing methods and models for estimating the costs to develop, test, procure, operate, and support defense forces and systems. The DoD acquisition effort is broad and highly complex since it can involve many layers of the DoD structure – the Services, the COCOMS, contractors. Each of IDA’s divisions (Cost Analysis and Research Division, Information Technology and Systems Division, Intelligence Analyses Division, Joint Advanced Warfighting Division, Operational Evaluation Division, Science and Technology Division, Strategy, Forces and Resources Division, and System Evaluation Division) has contributed to the success of DoD’s acquisition effort over many years – with the goal of informing the Department of best choices in terms of taxpayer value and lives saved.

Providing Technical and Analytic Support for Testing

IDA’s research divisions supports testing of major defense and national security systems through both technical and analytic support.  This support includes evaluating systems during system design, at the low-rate initial production phase, in a live-fire environment, and throughout the life cycle.  The Operational Evaluation Division is dedicated primarily to testing; the System Evaluation Division and the Cost Analysis and Research Division also support testing.

Supporting Contingencies, Commands, and Operational and Force Planning

IDA supports contingency operations and combatant commands through the application of advanced simulation capabilities and the use of modeling and simulation to examine advanced warfighting concepts. Included in our efforts are numerous analyses and the databases to assist operations and force planning in the field. The Cost Analysis and Research DivisionIntelligence Analyses Division, Joint Advanced Warfighting Division, Operational Evaluation Division, Strategy, Forces and Resources Division, and Systems Evaluation Division have a significant focus on these issues.

Advancing Cyber and Information Capabilities

Facing a threat that was barely thought of at IDA’s inception, our sponsors rely on IDA working in advancing cyber capabilities with the twin goals of protecting our freedom to operate in cyberspace while denying our adversaries the same advantage. The Information Technology and Systems Division, Intelligence Analyses Division, Operational Evaluation Division, Strategy, Forces and Resources Division, and Science and Technology Division have a significant focus on these issues.

Evaluating Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR); Space; and CBRN Issues

In a world of asymmetric warfare and terrorist threats from emerging and diverse enemies, IDA supports national security by evaluating Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance applications and systems; analyzing space for defense purposes; and examining all aspects of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear warfare. The System Evaluation Division, the Strategy, Forces and Resources Division, the Intelligence Analyses Division, and the Science and Technology Division all support IDA’s work in this area.

Analyzing Resource Allocation and National Security Economic Issues

IDA supports our sponsors by analyzing resource allocation and defense economic issues through assessments of military utility, system performance, and the risks and costs of technological integration at all stages of development and deployment, including test and evaluation. The Cost Analysis and Research Division and Strategy, Forces and Resources Division have a significant focus on these issues.

Evaluating Science and Technology Issues and Operational Effects

IDA supports our sponsors’ needs by evaluating advanced technologies and operating concepts and how they relate to current and future mission needs, system architectures, and system interoperability. The Cost Analysis and Research Division, Intelligence Analyses Division, Joint Advanced Warfighting Division, Science and Technology Division, Strategy, Forces and Resources Division, and System Evaluation Division have a significant focus on these issues.

Assessing Readiness, Training, Education, and Personnel Issues

IDA assesses personnel training, education, and readiness issues in support of U.S. military operations for various sponsors in pursuit of front-end improvements to our military’s efficiency and efficacy. The Cost Analysis and Research DivisionIntelligence Analyses DivisionJoint Advanced Warfighting DivisionScience and Technology Division, and Strategy, Forces and Resources Division have a significant focus on these issues.

Evaluating Institutions, Management Systems, Processes, and Support   

IDA evaluates institutions, management systems, processes, and support as they relate to national security strategy, the structure and capabilities of U.S. and foreign forces, and the infrastructure supporting U.S. forces to aid in streamlining the military and other federal agencies. The Intelligence Analyses DivisionJoint Advanced Warfighting Division, Strategy, Forces and Resources Division, and Systems Evaluation Division have a significant focus on these issues. 

Analyzing International Issues and Regional Security Matters

IDA provides analytic support to our sponsors, whose focus is on international issues, including implications of trade and technology cooperation, plans, controls, and defense and military concerns. These concerns are sometimes complicated by changing borders and localized problems that affect the security of the U.S. and our allies. The Intelligence Analyses Division, Joint Advanced Warfighting DivisionStrategy, Forces and Resources Division, and Systems Evaluation Division have a significant focus on these issues.