Aerospace Weapon System Acquisition Milestones

A Database

by M. B. Rothman

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 6.7 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Critics of the weapons acquisition process have often asserted that it takes too long to achieve new operational capabilities. These declarations are seldom accompanied by quantitative evidence. This study is designed to add to the limited body of literature documenting major milestones in the acquisition history of weapon systems. It presents chronologies drawn from the unclassified literature and supplemented by data collected through direct contacts with project personnel. The data cover 50 aircraft, 24 helicopters, and 53 missiles developed since the mid-1940s. A limited analysis tenuously supports the idea that the period from the beginning of the demonstration-and-validation phase to the start of full-scale development has been lengthening over the past three decades. However, calendar date alone explains little of the program-to-program variance.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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.