Acquisition and Technology



Technology has long been an advantage for U.S. forces, and the advances now coming off the shelf could increase America's lead. At the same time, decisionmakers must develop and acquire cutting-edge military systems in an era of ever-tighter resource constraints. They must also consider the implications of information warfare, constantly emerging battlefield technologies, and advanced modeling and simulation for military practice.


RAND research on acquisition and technology issues is conducted within each of RAND's national security research divisions and collaboratively across the RAND research community.

Key Research Centers:

  • Content

    Innovation in the United States Air Force

    May 13, 2016

    An assessment of historical cases of Air Force innovation — or apparent failure to innovate — sheds light on whether the service is sufficiently innovative today and what can be done to make it more innovative for the future.

  • Content

    Contestability Frameworks: An International Horizon Scan

    Mar 21, 2016

    As part of the restructure of the Australian Department of Defence (ADoD), there are several ways to implement contestability functions that review ADoD's requirements, acquisition, and budget decisions internally before they are passed to other elements in the government.

  • Content

    Modularity and Flexibility in Future Ship Designs

    Mar 3, 2016

    What are the U.S. Navy's options for extending the service lives of operational ships by adopting the concepts of modularity and flexibility in ship design? Researchers examine the concepts of modularity and flexibility, technological trends, the current geopolitical context, and lessons from past incorporation of new missions and technologies into naval ships.

  • research_briefs

    The Advantages and Disadvantages of Seeking Commonality in Military Equipment2011

    Examines the desirable and undesirable trade-offs that U.S. Army decisionmakers must make regarding commonality in military equipment.

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    Alternative Fuels for Military Applications2011

    The military services have established programs geared toward reducing dependence on the use of petroleum-derived fuels in tactical weapon systems. This monograph examines alternative fuels that are candidates for military applications, focusing on economic viability, greenhouse gas emissions, military utility, and current alternative fuel development, testing, and certification efforts within the Department of Defense.

  • MG991

    Are Ships Different? Policies and Procedures for the Acquisition of Ship Programs2011

    Department of Defense policies, procedures, and organizations for program management and oversight of defense acquisition programs do not align well with shipbuilding. Ship acquisition programs have characteristics that deviate from the normal framework in significant ways, resulting in disconnects and some confusion. The authors examine these differences and suggest policies that can better account for them.