Weapons Acquisition in the Soviet Union, United States, and France.

by Arthur J. Alexander


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback33 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Analysis focuses on the R&D phase of military aircraft acquisition in three dissimilar countries. The critical R&D organizations are the design bureau in the Soviet Union, the government in the United States, and the firm of Dassault in France. Dassault and Soviet design practices have many similarities: small design teams; prototype development strategy; high-level technical review committees; austere, rapid design-prototype construction phase; flight test prior to production decision; incremental development strategy; simple designs; briefly stated requirements; and concentration on design and development rather than on production. Constrained by handbook-dictated technology, limited manpower, and tight deadlines, the internally autonomous Soviet design bureaus are efficient and successful, producing militarily competitive designs that are developed quickly and cost-effectively. In the United States, the demand for high performance spawns large programs that invite regulation, undue client participation, inflexibility, and spiraling costs. Budget stringency and price constraints may counter powerful forces arising from American political system and culture that limit attainable efficiency. 33 pp. Bibliog.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

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.