Aircraft

Research insights into aircraft selection and maintenance, crew training, test facilities, and airspace access are valuable to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and U.S. and allied air forces. RAND studies have also examined military air power and aerospace industry issues.

  • Doves fly over the Peace Memorial Park with a view of the gutted A-bomb dome at a ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan

    Commentary

    5 Things That Should Happen When Obama Visits Hiroshima

    On May 27, President Barack Obama will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit the city of Hiroshima. The visit is a sign of respect and friendship between the American and Japanese people, and should make the two countries' ties even stronger.

    May 23, 2016

  • Report

    Innovation in the United States Air Force: Evidence from Six Cases

    Air Force senior leaders have asked whether the service is sufficiently innovative today and what can be done to make it more innovative for the future. This report assesses historical cases of Air Force innovation or apparent failure to innovate.

    May 13, 2016

  • Report

    Managing U.S. Air Force Aircraft Operating and Support Costs: Insights from Recent RAND Analysis and Opportunities for the Future

    To help the Air Force manage rising operating and support (O&S) costs for aircraft, this report describes key findings from previous RAND analyses, discusses current Air Force efforts to address O&S costs, and recommends additional actions.

    May 6, 2016

  • U.S. President Barack Obama reviews an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, April 24, 2014

    Commentary

    Obama Should Visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    During his upcoming visit to Japan, President Obama will have an opportunity to do something that none of his predecessors have ever done: visit the first and last cities to suffer atomic bombings.

    Apr 28, 2016

  • An employee checks the engine at the A320 family final assembly line at an Airbus factory in Tianjin, China, August 12, 2015

    Testimony

    Implications of China's Aerospace Industrial Policies

    China aims to create a globally competitive commercial aviation and space industry. Its efforts have had limited impact on the U.S. aerospace sector so far, but the creation of a strong Chinese competitor could affect the U.S. economy and employment.

    Apr 27, 2016

  • Report

    Preliminary Analysis of Helicopter Options to Support Tunisian Counterterrorism Operations

    Rising costs and delivery delays might mean that Tunisia should look at potential alternatives to the UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter. This report assesses potential alternatives that are cost-effective and capable of performing the assault mission.

    Apr 27, 2016

  • U.S. Army paratroopers jump from a C-17 Globemaster III over the Juliet Drop Zone in Pordenone, Italy, June 12, 2013

    Commentary

    Reimagining and Modernizing U.S. Airborne Forces for the 21st Century

    Many of the challenges the U.S. will face in the coming years across the range of military operations could be deep inland and require rapid response. Airborne forcible entry — with reimagined and modernized airborne forces — would offer decisionmakers options in crises that they do not possess today.

    Apr 20, 2016

  • The DHL parcel service subsidiary of Deutsche Post AG tested a "microdrones md4-1000" for delivery of medicine

    Commentary

    Regulating Drone Airspace Using 'Smart Markets'

    With commercially operated autonomous drones potentially on the horizon, a policy problem is likely to emerge: allocation of scarce airspace and preferred flight paths. “Smart markets” could help.

    Apr 19, 2016

  • The guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke in the Mediterranean Sea

    Report

    Weighing the Benefits of Longer Operational Cycles for Certain Ships

    The Navy is transitioning from a 32-month to a 36-month cycle, but adopting a 72-month cycle could increase the time surface vessels are deployed, allow for multiple deployments between depot availabilities, reduce the number of basic training periods, and achieve some cost savings by removing the crews during the depot maintenance period.

    Apr 18, 2016

  • Two THAAD interceptors and a Standard-Missile 3 Block IA missile being launched at a test site

    Commentary

    THAAD's Effect on South Korea's Neighbors

    It is hard to determine how China or Russia will respond to THAAD deployment in South Korea. THAAD deployment could change the dynamic and terms of the debate, leading to greater Chinese pressure on North Korea to curb its nuclear and missile threats.

    Apr 5, 2016

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a meeting dealing with the commissioning of military products at the National Defense Control Center in Moscow, March 11, 2016

    Commentary

    How Russia Undermines Nuclear Security

    Russian aggression in Ukraine and nuclear saber rattling are jeopardizing the very global nonproliferation efforts that this week's Nuclear Security Summit in Washington seeks to further. Moscow's actions deserve a stronger response than they have received.

    Apr 1, 2016

  • Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army Navy patrol at Woody Island, in the Paracel Archipelago, which is known in China as the Xisha Islands, January 29, 2016

    Commentary

    Beijing Ups the Ante in South China Sea Dispute with HQ-9 Deployment

    China's recent deployment of HQ-9 missiles to the Paracel Islands signals its determination to consolidate its gains in the South China Sea, regardless of criticism by the United States and its allies.

    Mar 29, 2016

  • 20160303-iran-panel3

    Report

    Will the Iran Deal Survive? Iran, Regional Crises, and U.S. Policy

    Videos of panel discussions from the RAND Corporation's

    Mar 24, 2016

  • An MQ-9 Reaper on the flightline at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan

    Commentary

    Do 'Guardian Forces' Belong in the Military?

    More and more national security workers in and out of uniform never get close to combat. They address cyber threats, operate satellite constellations, and control drones. It's time to rethink their place in the system.

    Mar 10, 2016

  • Report

    Consolidating Air Force Maintenance Occupational Specialties

    This report examines the cost and readiness implications of consolidating maintenance occupational specialties for new and legacy mobility fleets. Implications are derived from an assessment conducted for the KC-135 fleet.

    Mar 9, 2016

  • An ISIS militant waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria, June 29, 2014

    Commentary

    Deterring ISIS's Ambitions

    Western leaders cannot discount the possibility that ISIS may attempt a chemical attack within their borders. They should look to the robust alliances, treaty regimes, and international organizations to which most of them already ascribe as one way to address this threat.

    Mar 7, 2016

  • The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Coronado (LCS 4)

    Report

    Modularity and Flexibility in Future Ship Designs

    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.

    Mar 3, 2016

  • German police found traces of radiation in Hamburg locations linked to a Russian businessman who had met the murdered ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko on the day he fell ill

    Commentary

    Russia on the Horns of a Nuclear Dilemma

    While the murder of Alexander Litvinenko is a human tragedy, broader concerns about the lowering of WMD norms and violations of international law should be addressed. The use of radioactive matter to kill him represents a serious breach of international agreements.

    Feb 19, 2016

  • Report

    A Review of Selected International Aircraft Spares Pooling Programs: Lessons Learned for F-35 Spares Pooling

    Development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was shared by nine countries, who agreed that F-35 sustainment assets would be managed as a global pool. This report reviews other military aircraft spares pooling programs to identify lessons learned.

    Feb 18, 2016

  • The Chinese Luyang II-class guided missile destroyer Jinan and other ships in formation during a passing exercise, November 7, 2015

    Commentary

    China's Naval Modernization: Where Is It Headed?

    The PLA Navy is expanding its capabilities and operations to reduce vulnerabilities in China's near seas, but also to aggressively support its expanding global ambitions and challenge U.S. leadership in Asia.

    Feb 10, 2016