Acquisition and Technology Policy Center

U.S. Navy Fire Scouts

Photo by Erik Hildebrandt/U.S. Navy

The Acquisition and Technology Policy Center (ATP) within the RAND National Security Research Division helps ensure that U.S. and allied forces have the materiel they need to accomplish their missions in every warfighting domain: space, air, ground, sea, and cyber. ATP analyses span the lifecycle of weapon system acquisition, from identifying innovative technologies, assessing alternatives, and evaluating costs and benefits to planning for force modernization, maintaining strong industrial bases, and sustaining and logistically supporting weapon systems. ATP also works to enhance the acquisition system itself, examining its policies, organizations, costs, schedules, and performance.

Research Focus Areas

Assessing Advanced Technologies at the Bleeding Edge

Emerging threats from adversaries require creative solutions at the "bleeding edge" of technology. ATP uses a range of analytic techniques to match the "red" capabilities of potential adversaries with the "blue" strategic requirements and capabilities.

Crafting Strategies for Modernization and Employment

Incorporating new capabilities requires the consideration of alternative approaches, focusing on their costs, benefits, business cases, and force employment models. ATP helps senior leaders make the acquisition decisions needed to deliver the best overall solutions to the force.

Maintaining the Defense Industrial Base

The research, development, production, testing, evaluation, and upgrading of weapon systems depend on the industrial base capabilities of commercial providers and organic government organizations. ATP examines these to ensure that government priorities can be met, and that core capabilities important for national security can be maintained.

Ensuring Effective Logistics and Sustaining Weapon System Readiness

ATP research into improving the defense logistics supply chain and weapon system sustainment has helped ensure that warfighters have the equipment and material that they need when they need it, at the lowest reasonable cost.

Improving the Operation of the Acquisition System

The defense acquisition system provides the context for the analyses described above. ATP research examines the system itself to enhance its operation. Research topics include acquisition organization and policy, cost and schedule performance, and data availability. Improvements in the business practices of the acquisition system can yield further savings, which can be invested in other acquisition priorities.

Sponsors

ATP clients include:

  • Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps
  • Joint Staff
  • The Combatant Commands
  • The Defense Agencies
  • Defense organizations in allied nations

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 ext. 5292
Cynthia_Cook@rand.org