"The management and oversight of a major defense acquisition program are exceedingly complex processes. The U.S. Department of Defense has a well-established set of policies, procedures, and organizations for program management and oversight, described in the '5000 series' of directives and instructions. Not all weapon systems fit comfortably within this framework, however. In particular, ship acquisition programs have characteristics that deviate from the normal framework, including concurrency of production and subsystem development, low production quantity and rate, varied test and evaluation procedures, and a unique relationship between milestone decision points and actual construction status. The authors explore these differences in detail, suggesting policies that can better account for the differences in ship acquisition programs without compromising oversight or establishing an entirely separate process."--Publisher's description.