Military Equipment

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Cost growth in the development and fielding of technologically advanced military equipment has become a major economic burden for many nations and is expected to be an enduring and prevalent problem. RAND research has provided cost analyses and recommendations to help policymakers and military leaders develop improved cost-estimating tools and formulate policies that mitigate cost growth in weapon system acquisition practices.

  • The launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile during a test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, February 5, 2020, photo by SrA Clayton Wear/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Weighing the Cost and Necessity of Nuclear Modernization

    The United States has fielded a Triad of air-, sea-, and land-based nuclear delivery systems since the 1950s. Major components are nearing the end of their service lives, raising the question of whether to extend or replace them. Meanwhile, Russia and China continue to modernize, diversify, and expand their nuclear arsenals.

    Jan 3, 2022

  • The Embarked Security Team (EST) on Board USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7), along with Sailors from Coastal Riverine Squadron THREE's (CRS-3) boarded on Riverine Command Boats (RCBs), defend the vessel using dazzler non-lethal weapon and blank rounds during a simulated attack as it departs to support ships during Rim of the Pacific 2016. Twenty-six nations, comprising over 40 ships and submarines and over 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th iteration in the series that began in 1971 and is the world's largest international maritime exercise, photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Martin Wright/U.S. Navy

    Report

    How to Effectively Assess the Impact of Non-Lethal Weapons as Intermediate Force Capabilities

    The U.S Department of Defense needs to be able to assess the tactical, operational, and strategic impact of non-lethal weapons to inform how and when they should be used and their integration into overall DoD capabilities. How do non-lethal weapons contribute to overarching DoD goals?

    Jan 18, 2022

Explore Military Equipment

  • Senior Airman Allyssa Helma prepares to marshal an F-15C Eagle onto the flightline for Red Flag-Alaska at Kadena Air Base, Japan, April 15, 2022, photo by Airman 1st Class Sebastian Romawac/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    As F-15s Leave Okinawa, an Opportunity to Change Indo-Pacific Air Tactics with Unmanned Options

    As it considers its future force mix and posture in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere, the U.S. Air Force has options that go beyond traditional platforms. Among them are rapidly maturing concepts for generating and sustaining high-tempo operations in forward areas with autonomous, runway-independent air vehicles.

    Nov 28, 2022

  • People gather around remains of a military plane at the site where it crashed into a residential building in the city of Irkutsk, Russia, October 23, 2022, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russian Aircraft Keep Crashing. Could Sanctions Be the Cause?

    At least six fixed-wing Russian aircraft have crashed over Russian-controlled airspace since September. Sanctions placed on Russia by the West could well be affecting Russia's ability to manufacture and maintain parts needed to keep aircraft safe.

    Nov 22, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Russian Military Strategy: Organizing Operations for the Initial Period of War

    The authors of this report identify and examine several factors to assess the orientation of Russian military strategy, including the balance of power, Russian diplomacy with China, views on future war, and trends in force readiness and mobilization.

    Nov 22, 2022

  • U.S. Naval Forces and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces conduct a bilateral mine warfare exercise off the coast of southwestern Japan, January 28, 2021, U.S. Navy photo

    Commentary

    The Drifting Menace

    The drifting mine threat is not going away: they are simple, effective weapons that are easily made and deployed even by actors with limited naval capabilities. A holistic approach to tactics, enforcement, and technology development could help counter the threat and maintain future freedom of the seas.

    Nov 16, 2022

  • A Seahawk medium displacement unmanned surface vessel participates in U.S. Pacific Fleet's Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem in the Pacific Ocean, April 21, 2021, photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    The Age of Uncrewed Surface Vessels

    A new age of naval warfare has been inaugurated in the Black Sea, defined by an emerging weapon. Uncrewed surface vessels could become a centerpiece of naval warfare in the coming decades, one that navies may ignore at their peril.

    Nov 15, 2022

  • Local residents look at parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle after a Russian drone strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 17, 2022, photo by Vladyslav Musiienko/Reuters

    Commentary

    'Wonder Weapons' Will Not Win Russia's War

    With its army increasingly in shambles, Russia has turned to attacking Ukraine's civilian infrastructure with Iranian-made drones in an effort to destroy Ukrainians' will to fight. These tactics will inflict pain on the Ukrainian population, but if history is any guide, they will not forestall a Russian defeat.

    Nov 10, 2022

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Thinking About the Unthinkable: Examining North Korea's Military Threat to China

    Examines North Korea's military threat to China.

    Nov 8, 2022

  • Russian President Putin attends a conference of heads of security and intelligence agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States member countries remotely in Moscow, Russia, September 29, 2022, photo by Gavriil Grigorov/Sputnik via Reuters

    Commentary

    Nuclear Weapons and Putin's 'Holy War'

    Russia's nuclear saber-rattling has shifted the stakes of the war in Ukraine. But enabling Russia's blackmail doesn't prevent the catastrophic costs of nuclear escalation. It merely shifts those costs away from Russia and into the future, inviting other nuclear states to pull the same move for their conquests.

    Nov 2, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Putin's Gambits, Xi Jinping, Machine Learning: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Putin's latest “desperate measures” in Ukraine, support for Xi Jinping, whether machine-learning tools can tell if you're lying, and more.

    Oct 21, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe: DCC0007 Defence and Climate Change

    This document provides RAND Europe's submission of evidence in relation to the UK House of Commons Defence Select Committee's Call for Evidence on Defence and Climate Change.

    Oct 21, 2022

  • A helicopter drops water to extinguish fuel tanks ablaze on the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, October 8, 2022, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Beware the Explosive Vessels

    The initial explosion that damaged the Kerch Strait Bridge may have come from an uncrewed surface vehicle (USV). If it was indeed caused by a USV, it could be a portent of future warfare. Military and homeland security authorities may need to anticipate the potential use of USVs by adversaries or terrorists.

    Oct 20, 2022

  • Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft taking part in an exercise after taking off from an airfield in Brest, Belarus, February 11, 2022, photo by Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Su-35: Are Its Military Aircraft Exports Headed for a Fall?

    Squeezed by sanctions and pressed to replace equipment destroyed in Ukraine, Russia's aerospace sector isn't likely to have combat aircraft to sell, even if it wants to. If purchasing countries start to change their minds and invest in drones and other less-expensive precision guided munitions, the market for Russian combat aircraft might start to rapidly decline.

    Oct 20, 2022

  • Russia claims to have successfully test-launched its nuclear-capable Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile in Plesetsk, Russian Federation, in this photo released by the Russian Ministry of Defence, April 20, 2022, photo by Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Putin's Nuclear Gambit Is a Huge Mistake

    Russia is losing in Ukraine, and the rhetoric of Russian leaders has recently become ever more apocalyptic. The United States and its allies should be prepared in case Russia goes down the nuclear path, but fear should not drive the Western response to Russia's nuclear bluster.

    Oct 19, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    "Killing Rats in a Porcelain Shop": PLA Urban Warfare in a Taiwan Campaign

    This chapter considers the dedicated efforts the PLA has focused on since the late 2000s to develop an urban warfare capacity that appears to be directed at the capture of Taipei in a Cross-straits contingency.

    Oct 19, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Legalizing Cannabis, the Russian Nuclear Threat, Digital Offshoring: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on cannabis legalization, the Russian nuclear threat, the effects of digital offshoring, and more.

    Oct 14, 2022

  • BTS perform during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards show in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. April 3, 2022, photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

    Commentary

    Could K-Pop Help Deter Kim Jong-un's Provocations?

    The United States and Republic of Korea could be more specific and creative in seeking to deter Kim Jong-un. The global popularity of K-Pop could be part of the strategy.

    Oct 11, 2022

  • Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi attends a news conference in Tehran, Iran, August 29, 2022, photo by Majid Asgaripour/WANA/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Iran Nuclear Deal: Is the Juice Still Worth the Squeeze?

    The talks to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal have been dragging on for 18 months. But the negotiations are not about very much; the general contours of the original agreement still hold. As the clock keeps ticking, though, it gets harder to revive it. At some point, the juice won't be worth the squeeze.

    Oct 10, 2022

  • Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers set up High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems supplied by the United States in Ukraine, July 5, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Protecting Ukraine's Future Security

    Western support for Ukraine's future security could depend in part on how the war ends and the extent to which Moscow remains threatening. Ukraine can better protect its security through robust, tangible security ties with the West.

    Oct 10, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin declares the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces at the Great Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia, September 30, 2022, photo by Grigory Sysoyev/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    A Moment of Strategic Clarity

    With the Russian mobilization and declared annexation, whatever prospects there were for a negotiated peace seem to have all but vanished. Any result short of Ukrainian victory will be, in the long run, a worse outcome for the rules-based international order.

    Oct 3, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    A Methodology for Quantifying the Value of Cybersecurity Investments in the Navy

    Researchers developed a methodology to assess the value of resource options for U.S. Navy cybersecurity investments. The proposed methodology enables the Navy to rationalize the cost-effectiveness of potential investments within the POM process.

    Sep 28, 2022