Comparisons of Soviet and U.S. Technology

by Robert L. Perry

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The military sector of Soviet R&D may be more efficient than the civilian sector; and in some respects, particularly in aircraft development, the Soviet military R&D system appears to be more efficient than U.S. military R&D. One consequence is that the USSR seems capable of generating more system options at lower costs and presumably with less risk than the United States in the present system acquisition environment. A second finding of this study is embodied in the demonstration that the extent of Soviet technological advancement can be ascertained for one specialized regime of military technology — turbine engines, in this instance — and the methodology developed in that demonstration can be applied to several areas of technology. Even if there is uncertainty about some of the underlying data, military goods, and services should be expressed in terms that uniformly reflect Soviet rather than U.S. manufacturing methods and input quantities.

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