Acquisition and Technology Policy Center

Courtesy US Air Force: F22 AssemblyThe RAND Acquisition and Technology Policy Center (ATP) addresses how accelerating technological change will influence the revolution in world affairs and transform the U.S. military establishment.

ATP's research concentrates on how U.S. advantages, especially the ability to create and apply information technology, can be exploited to fulfill the needs of U.S. strategies. The ability to engage and project U.S. power and to guard against threats to America requires innovative approaches to technology, know-how, and practices available in the larger U.S. economy. ATP is helping the defense establishment leverage private research and development in new technologies to become a smart buyer of technology, systems, and services.

ATP provides policy studies and analytic support to numerous clients, the primary ones being the offices of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Networks and Information Integration); the Ballistic Missile Defense Office; the Navy; and the Joint Staff.

Current and Recent Contributions

  • Understanding Conflict in the Information Age
    In what ways is the information revolution affecting traditional military conflict as well as non-traditional conflict such as terrorism and asymmetric threats by non-state actors? How can the U.S. most effectively exploit the value of improved intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communications in achieving joint and coalition operational capabilities on future battlefields? How will military advantages be affected by the global spread and availability of advanced information technology? What are the vulnerabilities that the information revolution presents, and what are the most promising potential responses? How can the DoD create flexible architectures to leverage the rapid evolution of information technology and operational concepts such as network-centric operations given uncertainties in future technology developments?
  • Understanding the Effect of New Technologies on Future National Security Operations
    How can new technologies enhance U.S. ability to rapidly employ forces where and when needed with minimal threat to U.S. and friendly personnel as well as foreign civilians and infrastructures? Are there feasible technical counters to asymmetric threats (e.g., chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats)? What technologies offer the potential for dramatic improvements in military capabilities in traditional as well as nontraditional missions, and how can this best be accomplished?
  • Courtesy of US Air Force: CV-22 Osprey
  • Assessing Force Modernization and Employment Options
    When considering new technologies and systems to modernize our forces, what opportunities are available, what improvements in military capabilities can be achieved, where are the best cost-benefit payoffs, and what changes in concepts of operations are needed? What priorities and strategies should guide U.S. modernization efforts? How can the nation develop forces that can adapt to new situations while maintaining superiority in traditional military operations?
  • Maintaining Core Defense Technology and Production Bases
    How can the U.S. best ensure access to defense and commercial science, technology, and industrial base capabilities for research, development, production, test, evaluation, and upgrades of its military systems and personnel? How can the DoD manage the effects of globalization and non-defense business opportunities on capabilities important to national security, given resource constraints and business realities?
  • Assessing New Acquisition and Management Strategies, Processes, and Organizational Structures
    How can the U.S. rapidly acquire and employ new systems and concepts to meet a growing set of operational missions, especially those related to counterterrorism, small conflicts, counter-insurgency, and peacekeeping? How can the DoD achieve flexible, cost-effective capabilities to achieve a wide range of effects rather than focusing solely on traditional, highly optimized warfare operations and systems? How can the DoD best take advantage of production know-how, technology advances, and management practices in the larger U.S. and international economies?

Inquiries about the RAND Acquisition and Technology Policy Center or its activities can be directed to:

Cynthia Cook
Director, RAND Acquisition and Technology Policy Center
RAND Corporation
1200 South Hayes Street
Arlington, VA 22202-5050
(703) 413-1100 x5292