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In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Congress requested a study of the U.S. ground combat and tactical wheeled vehicle fleets. In the study, RAND researchers assess the U.S. military's requirements and capability needs, identify capability gaps based on recent conflicts and emerging threats, identify critical technology elements or integration risks associated with particular vehicles and missions, and make recommendations regarding the development and deployment of critical capabilities to address identified gaps. The study also examines risks in the technologies required to close the capability gaps, in the business processes used by the U.S. Department of Defense in managing the initiatives producing and modernizing these vehicles, and in the modeling and simulation process supporting the vehicles' research, development, and acquisition. The technical challenges that will continue to affect the ability to field cutting-edge vehicles that meet operational requirements include the need for improved protection, power generation, and fuel consumption and the increased complexity spurred by sensors and networking. It will also be necessary to address how cost estimation, testing, evaluation, and staffing are handled. Finally, an improved modeling and simulation process will be essential as Congress and the Department of Defense move forward in aligning funding decisions with current and future requirements.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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