operating capability

Initial operating capability

Initial operating capability (IOC) is the state achieved when a capability is available in its minimum usefully deployable form. The term is often used in government or military procurement.

The date at which IOC is achieved often defines the in-service date (ISD) for an associated system. Declaration of an initial operating capability implies that the capability will be developed in the future, for example by modifications or adjustments to improve the system's performance, deployment of greater numbers of systems (perhaps of different types), or testing and training that permit wider application of the capability. Once the capability is fully developed, full operating capability may be declared.


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