The Replicator initiative is DoD’s effort to accelerate delivery of innovative capabilities to the warfighter at speed and scale through senior leader focus on solving a specific operational challenge.


The first iteration of Replicator (Replicator 1), announced in August 2023, will deliver all-domain attritable autonomous systems (ADA2) to warfighters at a scale of multiple thousands, across multiple warfighting domains, within 18-24 months, or by August 2025. The DoD is creating a new “state of the art” with the use of ADA2 systems, which are less expensive, put fewer people in the line of fire, and can be changed, updated, or improved with substantially shorter lead times. Successive iterations of Replicator will apply lessons learned to address additional capability gaps beyond ADA2 systems.


  • The DoD, through the Replicator initiative, is developing an accelerated process that identifies key capabilities with significant operational impact and delivers them to the warfighter at speed and scale.

  • The result is a warfighter-defined investment funnel comprising novel operational concepts, prototyping and experimentation, and expeditious acquisition pathways aimed at creating on-ramps for new capabilities, systems and industry partners.

  • By leveraging non-traditional technology ecosystems, alongside more traditional sources of defense capability, the DoD is adapting to integrate emerging technologies and methodologies to add the most military value while working to diversify and expand the base of American industry and technology companies. 

Role of Commercial Sector

  • Commercial companies are driving emerging technology solutions that have significant military value. This is particularly true for the portfolio of attritable, autonomous capabilities.

  • After years of investment by both the public and private sectors, these commercial technologies are now ripe for scaling. 

  • Replicator provides the commercial sector with a demand signal that allows companies to make investments in building capacity, strengthening both the supply chain and the industrial base.

  • Replicator investments incentivize traditional and non-traditional industry players to deliver record volumes of all domain attritable autonomous systems in line with the ambitious schedule set forth by the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

  • As a process, the Replicator initiative does not introduce new standards, but provides a partnership between the government and vendors to ensure secure supply chains to mitigate risk through existing technical solutions.

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Questions & Answers

The Replicator initiative is a specific example of how the Department will accelerate delivery of innovation to the warfighter at speed and scale through senior leader focus on a specific operational challenge to remove systemic roadblocks. This initiative is purposefully designed to overcome challenges faced by commercial partners inside and outside the Department, ensuring the Department can organize its demand signal and communicate that to the commercial sector in order to ultimately acquire ‘ready to scale' capabilities.

Both traditional and non traditional companies have a role in Replicator. DoD will use both existing efforts that are already on contract, as well as continuing to diversify the base of American industry and technology companies that are interested in working with DoD through new efforts including Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Commercial Solution Openings(CSOs).

The Replicator team is currently working with stakeholders across the Services, OSD and Combatant Commands to refine the demand signal for high priority needs. By conveying to the vendor community the need, how much money is associated with it, and over what time frame.

Replicator is providing an opportunity to remove systemic barriers and break through silos across the Department of Defense. Leadership attention combined with support from Congress has accelerated Service-led efforts and created opportunities for enhancing scaling for both suppliers and sub vendors. Specifically, we are seeing contract awards for autonomous, attritable systems being increased in size and pulled forward.