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.

  • Commentary

    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

  • 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

  • Military vehicles carrying DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missiles in a military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, October 1, 2019, photo by Jason Lee/Reuters

    Commentary

    The U.S. Doesn't Need More Nuclear Weapons to Counter China's New Missile Silos

    There's little reason for the United States to worry much about whatever the Chinese military is building in hundreds of new missile silos in China. America and its allies have ways to counter any threats these silo fields pose.

    Oct 18, 2021

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Achieving Global Mobility: Future Force Design 2040

    This research brief highlights the likely changes that will arise in global mobility requirements for UK Armed Forces between now and 2040. It also outlines a range of options to deliver global mobility in dynamic threat and policy environments.

    Oct 14, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Global Mobility: Future Force Design 2040

    This study identifies the likely changes that will arise in global mobility requirements for UK Armed Forces between now and 2040. It also outlines a range of options to deliver global mobility in dynamic threat and policy environments.

    Oct 14, 2021

  • Kim Jong-un speaks to officials at the Defence Development Exhibition, in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on October 12, 2021, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    North Korea's 'Business as Usual' Missile Provocations

    North Korea has revved up its cycle of missile provocations, its go-to method of securing leverage against the United States and South Korea in the on-again off-again nuclear negotiations. How will the United States and South Korea choose to respond?

    Oct 14, 2021

  • Seabees coordinate transportation of sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested negative for COVID-19 from Naval Base Guam to military-approved commercial lodging, in Guam, April 3, 2020, photo by MC Matthew R. White/U.S. Navy via Reuters

    Report

    Lessons from COVID-19 Infections on U.S. Navy Ships

    The U.S. Navy's handling of the early COVID-19 outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt revealed some cracks in the service's readiness to respond to major medical events. The relative lack of severe consequences in this instance should not prevent the Navy from reviewing those shortfalls and their implications for readiness.

    Sep 21, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    AI Tools for Military Readiness

    Readiness is integral to national security, and key to its management is its measurement. The authors show how artificial intelligence can improve the detail and accuracy of the U.S. military's readiness reports.

    Sep 20, 2021

  • Australian sailors raise the colors aboard HMAS Darwin, photo by Royal Australian Navy photo by Cpl. Chris Dickson/Royal Australian Navy

    Report

    Supporting the Royal Australian Navy's Strategy for Robotics and Autonomous Systems

    The Royal Australian Navy has embarked on an ambitious plan to modernise its maritime capabilities to support Australia's defence strategy. What should the Navy consider when developing its robotics, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence strategy?

    Sep 14, 2021

  • U.S. and Japanese military commanders visit the Misawa Air Base during Keen Sword/Orient Shield 21 in Aomori, Japan, October 28, 2020, photo by Sgt. Raquel Birk/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Japan's Potential Acquisition of Ground-Launched Land-Attack Missiles: Implications for the U.S.-Japanese Alliance

    If Japan acquired ground-based strike capabilities, it would have significant consequences for the U.S.-Japanese alliance. American and Japanese policymakers may need to have a new and expanded set of conversations about how such capabilities would be used and how the alliance could adjust to incorporate them.

    Sep 9, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Data Rights Relevant to Weapon Systems in Air Force Special Operations Command

    The Air Force needs better access to contractors' technical data to sustain core military aircraft assets and subsystems. For this to happen, the U.S. government needs the appropriate license rights and actual possession of the data.

    Sep 2, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Army Theater Fires Command: Integration and Control of Very Long-Range Army Fires

    The U.S. Army is developing a new generation of surface-to-surface fires with very long ranges. To help with integration, the Army proposed creating the Theater Fires Command, which will need to operate as part of a joint force.

    Aug 30, 2021

  • North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un speaks at a plenary meeting of 8th central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in this still image taken from KRT footage on June 16, 2021, photo by KRT TV/Reuters

    Report

    Engaging with North Korea: Lessons from Game Theory

    Applying game theory to the situation in North Korea may provide insights into how the United States can deal with Kim Jong-un and carry out negotiations on denuclearization.

    Aug 12, 2021

  • Horus FT-100 in production flight, <a href=

    Commentary

    Opportunities for the Brazilian Navy to Employ Additional Unmanned Systems

    The Brazilian Navy needs to have both the capabilities and capacity to meet a wide range of demands over vast and diverse geographic areas. What are some of the potential ways the Brazilian Navy could use unmanned systems to improve effectiveness and, potentially, reduce risks and costs?

    Aug 10, 2021

  • Cloud-free view of Great Britain and Ireland, taken from Envisat on 28 March 2012, photo by European Space Agency/CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

    Journal Article

    Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe: SPDF0020 Space Defence

    This document provides RAND Europe's submission of evidence in relation to the UK House of Commons Defence Select Committee's July 2021 call for evidence on space defence.

    Jul 30, 2021

  • Members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and a U.S. Army captain examine a field artillery safety diagram at Yausubetsu Training Area, Japan, photo by U.S. Army

    Commentary

    How Japan Can Prepare for Future Conflicts

    When it comes to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and unmanned systems, how does Japan compare to other countries? How can it deter and counter possible aggression from an adversary that is more advanced in these areas?

    Jul 29, 2021

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un take a walk in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this picture released by KCNA on June 21, 2019, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Can China Be a Real Partner in Bringing North Korea to the Nuclear Negotiating Table?

    The United States remains committed to the goal of denuclearization of North Korea. China is more interested in maintaining a delicate geopolitical balance to counter U.S. influence in the region and in expanding its own reach. Thus, prospects for productive U.S.-China cooperation on the North Korean nuclear threat seem faint at best.

    Jul 14, 2021

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    Multimedia

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

    RAND defense analyst Ryan Bauer discusses the variety of developmental challenges that the Russian Su-57 fifth-generation jet has experienced, decreasing the likelihood of Russia exporting the aircraft for a number of years despite continued marketing efforts.

    Jul 13, 2021

  • May 2011 Parade - S-400

    Multimedia

    Russian S-400 Surface-to-Air Missile System: Is It Worth the Sticker Price?

    Indian civilian and military leadership face investment choices that go beyond the decision to buy the S-400. To be effective, the S-400 needs to be deployed within a larger integrated air and missile defense system and requires a very skilled military workforce to operate. Otherwise, it will prove to be a costly and expensive military extravagance.

    Jul 13, 2021

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspects a long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 in an undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, May 15, 2017, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    North Korean Nuclear Weapons Pose an Existential Threat to China

    Despite the current border closures between their two countries, China and North Korea remain resolutely pledged to a “blood-alliance.” But this partnership has vastly different implications depending on which side of the border you consider.

    Jul 13, 2021

  • A supporter of Ebrahim Raisi displays his portrait during a celebratory rally for his presidential election victory in Tehran, Iran, June 19, 2021, photo by Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Iran May Be in No Hurry to Get Nuclear Weapons Even Without a Nuclear Deal

    History shows that many countries with advanced nuclear technologies but without nuclear bombs opt to stay that way. There are reasons to believe that Iran, too, may choose to remain non-nuclear at least in the foreseeable future.

    Jun 28, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Persistent Challenges in UK Defence Equipment Acquisition

    This paper identifies underlying and cross-cutting factors that contribute to seemingly intractable challenges in defence equipment acquisition programmes. It also discusses measures that could help address these inefficiencies going forward.

    Jun 23, 2021