Cover: Pros and Cons of International Weapons Procurement Collaboration

Pros and Cons of International Weapons Procurement Collaboration

Published 1995

by Mark A. Lorell, Julia F. Lowell


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Over the past few years, U.S. policymakers have become increasingly interested in pursuing collaborative arrangements with our allies. Cost appears to be a major incentive: As military technologies become more complex and more expensive, even the U.S. national market is becoming too small to support the costs of developing and producing new weapons systems comfortably. By combining defense procurement with other nations, the U.S. government may be able to reduce the average cost of a given weapons system. In addition, collaboration programs offer the potential for greater operational integration of allied forces and greater political integration through shared training and doctrine. This monograph presents an overview, illustrated by case study evidence, of the pros and cons of international collaborative weapons procurement programs. Making extensive use of 20 years of accumulated RAND research on aerospace procurement, the authors develop a simple conceptual framework that allows them to identify historical lessons relevant to future U.S. policy. From these lessons the authors then draw general conclusions about the efficacy of international collaborative weapons programs and point out a variety of program characteristics that appear to promote better outcomes in collaborative ventures.

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