In light of the resounding victory in the Persian Gulf War and the strong pressures to reduce military spending, many observers are questioning the need to modernize U.S. airpower. The authors of this issue paper argue that certain airpower systems must be modernized if the United States is to preserve the military capabilities demonstrated in that war. They evaluate existing aircraft and those under development and suggest particular avenues of development. Their recommendations include procuring the F-22, fully funding and integrating an array of air-to-ground weapons, fully funding the bomber roadmap and considering additional measures to improve bomber capabilities, canceling the A/F-X interdiction fighter program, and delaying a decision on the multirole fighter in favor of further study.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation issue paper series. The issue paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003 that contained early data analysis, an informed perspective on a topic, or a discussion of research directions, not necessarily based on published research. The issue paper was meant to be a vehicle for quick dissemination intended to stimulate discussion in a policy community.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.