Military Aircraft

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Designing and fielding a fleet of technologically superior military aircraft is often an imperative for national and regional security, but the cost involved in acquiring and maintaining such fleets places a significant burden on defense budgets and can impact a nation's ability to project force. RAND research has provided policymakers with essential evaluations and recommendations to implement cost savings in the design, acquisition, and fielding of military aircraft.

  • Italian air force F-35 and Eurofighter Typhoons fly in formation over Italy during a training mission, courtesy photo, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa

    Report

    European Contributions to NATO's Future Combat Airpower

    Oct 22, 2020

    European air forces currently have limited capabilities for defending allies in high-intensity conflict. However, Europe's airpower is trending in the right direction, especially with the introduction of fifth-generation aircraft.

  • Russian Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets perform during a demonstration flight at the MAKS-2019 air show in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia, August 29, 2019, photo by Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Su-57 Heavy Fighter Bomber: Is It Really a Fifth-Generation Aircraft?

    Aug 17, 2020

    Russia's Su-57 aircraft has been in development since 2002 and is considered a key part of Russia's arms export industry as a fifth-generation fighter. Despite continued Russian efforts to sell the aircraft, it is unlikely that a fully developed and full production–ready Su-57 will be available for sale before the late 2020s.

Explore Military Aircraft

  • Report

    Report

    Campaign Time Pattern, Sortie Rate, and Base Location

    Study from 1952 that looks at the time pattern of campaigns and presents measures of systems cost per sortie as well as systems cost per bomber.

    Jan 25, 1952

  • Report

    Report

    The Heritage of Douhet

    A general discussion of General Douhet's military philosophy and of his contributions to the theory of strategic aircraft use.

    Jan 1, 1952

  • Report

    Report

    Initial and Annual Costs and Peacetime Life Expectancies

    This note has confined comment to the installation and aircraft items of initial costs.

    Oct 30, 1951

  • Report

    Report

    RAND Air Defense Analysis

    This short report summarizes RAND's work on the defense of the United States from attack by nuclear-armed bombers. The focus of the paper is on the structure and assumptions underlying the analysis.

    Mar 9, 1951

  • People

    People

    Bart E. Bennett

    Senior Operations Researcher; Professor of Operation Research, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. and M.S.E. in mathematical sciences, Johns Hopkins University; B.S. in mathematics/computer science, University of California, Los Angeles

  • People

    People

    John Birkler

    Senior Fellow
    Education M.S. in physics, University of South Carolina; B.S. in physics, Roanoke College

  • People

    People

    Tim Conley

    Senior Operations Researcher
    Education MS in operations research, Naval Postgraduate School; BS in education, Univ of Missouri (Columbia)

  • People

    People

    Natalie W. Crawford

    Senior Fellow; Distinguished Chair in Air and Space Policy; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education B.A. in mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles; Honorary Ph.D. in engineering, Michigan State University; Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Policy, Pardee RAND Graduate School

  • People

    People

    Bradley DeBlois

    Management Scientist
    Education B.S. in physics, College of William and Mary; M.S. in management science, London School of Economics and Political Science

  • People

    People

    Thomas Goughnour

    Policy Researcher
    Education M.A. in economics, George Mason; B.S. in economics, University of Pittsburgh; B.A. in philosophy, University of Pittsburgh

  • People

    People

    Krystyna Marcinek

    Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, Jagiellonian University, Poland

  • People

    People

    Richard Mason

    Senior Engineer
    Education Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, California Institute of Technology; A.B. in physics, Harvard University

  • People

    People

    Michael J. Neumann

    Director of Operations, RAND Project AIR FORCE
    Education M.A. in national security studies, Georgetown University; B.S. in journalism, Northwestern University

  • People

    People

    Daniel M. Romano

    Senior Technical Analyst
    Education M.B.A in business administration, George Mason University; M.S. in logistics management, Air Force Institute of Technology

  • People

    People

    Anthony D. Rosello

    Air Force Liaison, RAND Project AIR FORCE; Senior Engineer
    Education M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; B.S. in engineering science, United States Air Force Academy

  • People

    People

    William Shelton

    Senior Engineer
    Education M.S. in aero/astro engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology; B.S. in aero/astro engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • People

    People

    Erik Van Hegewald

    Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education B.S. in astronautical engineering/applied math, United States Air Force Academy