What does Valley of Death refer to?

In the military and defense sector, the term "valley of death" is used in the context of the Defense Acquisition System of the United States. It describes the gap between technology development and program acquisition where a promising concept or prototype has been developed (often in a lab or limited capability) but does not transition into a formal program of record or into operational use. The challenges in this valley of death include securing funding, proving operational worth, and fitting into existing military procurement processes. The concept emphasizes the need for careful planning, adequate resources, and strategic management to bridge the gap between initial innovation and successful market entry or deployment.