New methodologies, engineering processes, and support environments are beginning to emerge for embedded signal processing systems. The main objectives are to enable defence industry to field state-of-the-art products in less time and with lower costs, including retrofits and upgrades, based predominately on commercial off the shelf (COTS) components and the model-year concept. One of the cornerstones of the new methodologies is the concept of rapid prototyping. This is the ability to rapidly and seamlessly move from functional design to the architectural design to the implementation, through automatic code generation tools, onto real-time COTS test beds. In this paper, we try to quantify the term ￠ € rapid ￠ € and provide results, the metrics, from two independent benchmarks, a radar and sonar beamforming application subset. The metrics show that the rapid prototyping process may be sixteen times faster than a conventional process.