Fiscal Year 2012 Research Agenda

Force Modernization and Employment Program

Part of RAND Project AIR FORCE, the Force Modernization and Employment Program identifies and assesses ways in which technological advances and new operational concepts can improve the Air Force's ability to satisfy a range of future operational demands. This research involves assessments of technology feasibility, performance, cost, and risk. PAF assesses major force components needed in the future and the systems and infrastructure supporting their operations.

Updated: 4/27/2012

Technology for Automating ISR PED for Efficiency and Effectiveness

Project Leaders: Amado Cordova, Lance Menthe
Sponsors: AF/CV*; AF/A2
Level of Effort (STE): 3.0

The USAF is “swimming in sensors and drowning in data.” This study will access how the Air Force should leverage new PED technologies to yield large improvements in PED efficiency and effectiveness. The focus will be on assessing the roles of human analysts in working with automated tools, human-machine interfaces, PED process improvements, and organizational constructs. The final results will highlight the interaction between levels of automation, levels of manpower, and operational effectiveness.

Evaluating Kinetic and Nonkinetic Capabilities to Inform the Future Force Mix

Project Leaders: Lara Schmidt, Don Snyder
Sponsors: AF/A3/5*; AF/A10
Level of Effort (STE): 4.0

This project will make mission-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness comparisons for future kinetic and nonkinetic options to guide future USAF investment strategies. Using scenarios developed for PAF’s CAF force structure study, the project team will identify key offensive strike missions and develop metrics for comparing kinetic and nonkinetic options in terms of cost and effectiveness. The purpose of the projects it to improve the Air Force’s ability to select the most effective and efficient weapon mix of kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities against both state and non-state actors across the phases of operations.

Future of the Combat Air Forces

Project Leaders: James Chow
Sponsors: AF/CV*; AF/A3/5; AF/A10; ACC/CV; SAF/FMC
Level of Effort (STE): 5.0

This study will help the Air Force with their vision for the future of the combat air forces. The team will examine the role of the legacy fighters, how to maximize the utility of the F-35 and the F-22, the contribution of long range strike, and what is need from 6th generation systems. Although HAF/A9 is also looking at the future of the CAF, we believe it is useful to have more than one perspective on this very important subject. PAF’s study will focus on a very broad range of threat and budgetary scenarios.

Bomber Operations in A2/AD Scenarios Preceding Major Theater War

Project Leaders: Natalie Crawford, Dan Norton
Sponsors: AFGSC/A9; AF/A10
Level of Effort (STE): 3.0

This study will identify options for enhancing the effectiveness of bomber operations in anti-access, area denial (A2/AD) scenarios. The study will include scenarios for both major theater wars and nuclear deterrence operations. This study will make recommendations for the best use of existing B-1, B-2, and B-52 forces and future Long Range Strike forces with both nuclear and conventional capabilities. Modernization recommendations will be made to enhance the effectiveness of the existing forces.

Alternative Space Architectures for National Security Space

Project Leaders: Brien Alkire, George Nacouzi
Sponsors: AFSPC/CC*; SAF/IA
Level of Effort (STE): 4.0

This project is examining and will provide recommendations for alternative space architectures for three of the major Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) mission areas that support National Security Space: space situational awareness (SSA), military satellite communications (MILSATCOM), and overhead persistent infrared (OPIR). The project will focus on cost, resiliency, and performance of the alternatives, but will also consider survivability, flexibility, and industrial base concerns, and identify key challenges for transitioning to alternative architectures.

*Primary sponsor

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