10 U.S. Code § 8669b - Senior Technical Authority for each naval vessel class

(a) Senior Technical Authority.—
(1) Designation for each vessel class required.—The Secretary of the Navy shall designate, in writing, a Senior Technical Authority for each class of naval vessels as follows:
(A)
In the case of a class of vessels which has received Milestone A approval, an approval to enter into technology maturation and risk reduction, or an approval to enter into a subsequent Department of Defense or Department of the Navy acquisition phase as of the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, not later than 30 days after such date of enactment.
(B)
In the case of any class of vessels which has not received any approval described in subparagraph (A) as of such date of enactment, at or before the first of such approvals.
(2) Individuals eligible for designation.—Each individual designated as a Senior Technical Authority under paragraph (1) shall be an employee of the Navy in the Senior Executive Service in an organization of the Navy that—
(A)
possesses the technical expertise required to carry out the responsibilities specified in subsection (b); and
(B)
operates independently of chains-of-command for acquisition program management.
(3) Term.—
Each Senior Technical Authority shall be designated for a fixed term, not shorter than the time anticipated to establish demonstrated successful performance of the class of vessels concerned in accordance with its approved capabilities document, as determined by the Secretary at the time of designation.
(4) Voluntary departure.—
If an individual designated as a Senior Technical Authority voluntarily departs the position before demonstrated successful performance of the class of vessels concerned, the Secretary shall designate, in writing, a replacement, and shall notify, in writing, the congressional defense committees not later than 90 days after such departure.
(5) Removal.—
An individual may be removed involuntarily from designation as a Senior Technical Authority only by the Secretary. Not later than 15 days after the involuntary removal of an individual from such designation, the Secretary shall notify, in writing, the congressional defense committees of the removal, including the reasons for the removal. Not later than 90 days after the involuntary removal, the Secretary shall designate, in writing, a replacement, and shall notify, in writing, the congressional defense committees of such designation.
(6) Reassignment for mission needs.—
Subject to paragraphs (4) and (5), the Secretary may reassign a Senior Technical Authority or remove an individual from designation as a Senior Technical Authority in furtherance of Department of the Navy mission needs.
(b) Responsibilities and Authority.—
Each Senior Technical Authority shall be responsible for, and have the authority to, establish, monitor, and approve technical standards, tools, and processes for the class of naval vessels for which designated under this section in conformance with applicable laws and Department of Defense and Department of the Navy policies, requirements, architectures, and standards.
(c) Limitation on Obligation of Funds on Lead Vessel in Vessel Class.—
(1) In general.—
On or after January 1, 2021, funds authorized to be appropriated for Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy or Other Procurement, Navy may not be obligated for the first time on the lead vessel in a class of naval vessels unless the Secretary of the Navy certifies as described in paragraph (2).
(2) Certification elements.—The certification on a class of naval vessels described in this paragraph is a certification containing each of the following:
(A)
The name or names of the individual or individuals designated as the Senior Technical Authority for such class of vessels, and the qualifications and professional biography or biographies of the individual or individuals so designated.
(B)
A description by the Senior Technical Authority of the systems engineering, technology, and ship integration risks for such class of vessels.
(C)
The designation by the Senior Technical Authority of each critical hull, mechanical, electrical, propulsion, and combat system of such class of vessels, including systems relating to power generation, power distribution, and key operational mission areas.
(D)
The date on which the Senior Technical Authority approved the systems engineering, engineering development, and land-based engineering and testing plans for such class of vessels.
(E)
A description by the Senior Technical Authority of the key technical knowledge objectives and demonstrated system performance of each plan approved as described in subparagraph (D).
(F)
A determination by the Senior Technical Authority that such plans are sufficient to achieve thorough technical knowledge of critical systems of such class of vessels before the start of detail design and construction.
(G)
A determination by the Senior Technical Authority that actual execution of activities in support of such plans as of the date of the certification have been and continue to be effective and supportive of the acquisition schedule for such class of vessels.
(H)
A description by the Senior Technical Authority of other technology maturation and risk reduction efforts not included in such plans for such class of vessels taken as of the date of the certification.
(I)
A certification by the Senior Technical Authority that each critical system covered by subparagraph (C) has been demonstrated through testing of a prototype or identical component in its final form, fit, and function in a realistic environment.
(J)
A determination by the Secretary that the plans approved as described in subparagraph (D) are fully funded and will be fully funded in the future-years defense program for the fiscal year beginning in the year in which the certification is submitted.
(K)
A determination by the Secretary that the Senior Technical Authority will approve, in writing, the ship specification for such class of vessels before the request for proposals for detail design, construction, or both, as applicable, is released.
(3) Deadline for submittal of certification.—
The certification required by this subsection with respect to a class of naval vessels shall be submitted, in writing, to the congressional defense committees not fewer than 30 days before the Secretary obligates for the first time funds authorized to be appropriated for Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy or Other Procurement, Navy for the lead vessel in such class of naval vessels.
(d) Definitions.—In this section:
(1) The term “class of naval vessels”—
(A)
means any group of similar undersea or surface craft procured with Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy or Other Procurement, Navy funds, including manned, unmanned, and optionally-manned craft; and
(B) includes—
(i)
a substantially new class of craft (including craft procured using “new start” procurement); and
(ii)
a class of craft undergoing a significant incremental change in its existing class (such as a next “flight” of destroyers or next “block” of attack submarines).
(2)
The term “future-years defense program” has the meaning given that term in section 221 of this title.
(3)
The term “Milestone A approval” has the meaning given that term in section 2431a of this title.
References in Text

The date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and such date of enactment, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 116–92, which was approved Dec. 20, 2019.