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.

Explore Military Equipment

  • Blog

    COVID-19 Demographic Trends, Vaccinating 'High-Contact' People, the Iran Threat Network: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the pandemic is shaping demographic trends, targeting vaccines to "high-contact" people, the Iran Threat Network, and more.

    Apr 16, 2021

  • European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora and Iranian Deputy at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araghchi wait for the start of a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria April 6, 2021

    Commentary

    The Biden Administration Will Find It Difficult to Contain Israel and Iran's Escalating Tensions

    Iran is blaming Israel for a blackout at one of its nuclear research facilities. This attack is likely to complicate nuclear diplomacy and further erode trust between Tehran and Washington. Also, it may only incentivize Iran to advance its nuclear program.

    Apr 14, 2021

  • Call with the Experts: The North Korean Nuclear Threat

    Multimedia

    The North Korean Nuclear Threat

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, Jeffrey Hiday, director of Media Relations at RAND, is joined by Bruce Bennett, RAND adjunct international/defense researcher, Bruce Bechtol, professor of political science at Angelo State University, and Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, for a discussion about the North Korean nuclear threat.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • Army Contracting Command-New Jersey's Maj. Bonny Dylewski and Capt. Reginald Gholston take part in the contingency contracting administration services mission training Oct. 29, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    Army Analytic Capabilities

    The U.S. Army faces two analytical and management challenges because its data are locked away in siloed databases and it lacks access to modern analytical tools. Is there a simple and effective way to overcome these challenges?

    Apr 12, 2021

  • North Korea displays what appears to be its largest intercontinental ballistic missile during a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers' Party, October 10, 2020, photo by KCNA

    Report

    Countering the Risks of North Korean Nuclear Weapons

    There is a growing gap between North Korea's nuclear weapon threat and South Korean and U.S. capabilities to defeat it. Because these capabilities will take years to develop, attention should be focused on where the threat could be in the mid to late 2020s and strategy options that could be employed to counter it.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • Stranded ship Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, after it ran aground, in the Suez Canal, March 28, 2021, photo by Suez Canal Authority/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Suez Grounding Was an Accident. The Next Blocked Chokepoint Might Not Be

    The recent spectacle of a hulking container ship wedged into the Suez Canal is a reminder of how vulnerable maritime transportation is to blocked chokepoints. The fragility of maritime lifelines may encourage the use of this tactic in future conflict.

    Mar 30, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    The U.S.-Japan Alliance and Rapid Change on the Korean Peninsula: Proceedings from a Pair of Conferences

    Few areas of the world are more geostrategically important to the United States and Japan than the Korean Peninsula. These conference proceedings explore how changes on the Korean Peninsula are seen by observers in Japan and the United States.

    Mar 26, 2021

  • Finger hovering over an illuminated button with a radiation warning sign, photo by davidhills/Getty Images

    Multimedia

    RAND Remote: A Disarming Mission, A RAND Conversation with William Perry and Tom Collina

    In this RAND Remote conversation, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Tom Collina, director of policy at Ploughshares Fund, discuss nuclear executive authority and topics covered in their book, The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump.

    Mar 25, 2021

  • U.S. Marines check a barrel for contamination during a training exercise at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California, April 30, 2013, photo by Sgt. Keonaona C. Paulo/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    Could the Bioweapons Treaty Be Another Tool for Addressing Pandemics?

    What might governments do to reduce the risk of future large-scale biological attacks or naturally occurring pandemics? Perhaps now is the right time to revisit the 46-year-old Biological Weapons Convention treaty and make it a better tool against future biological threats.

    Mar 12, 2021

  • A U.S. Air Force 34th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-35 Lighting II conducts an inflight refueling in the skies above the United Arab Emirates, May 8, 2020, photo by Tech. Sgt. Kat Justen/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    What the UAE Weapons Deal Says About the United States and Its Alliances

    Various U.S. administrations have long wanted U.S. allies to do more, but in many parts of the world the most logical partners are authoritarian states with different interests than those of the United States. The sale of military equipment to the United Arab Emirates provides just the latest example.

    Mar 1, 2021

  • A B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., prepares for an operational demonstration of the Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 28, 219. The QS-ER project was initiated by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command as part of ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance military readiness throughout the joint forces in the Indo-Pacific region, photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Comparing the Cost-Effectiveness of Expendable Versus Reusable Small Air Vehicles

    When using small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), what are the relative costs of using expendable systems versus reusable systems? Research suggests they should be considered for a range of roles, including as decoys, jammers, or reconnaissance platforms.

    Feb 23, 2021

  • A U.S. Marine with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 19.1 loads equipment onto a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Dec. 13, 2018. SPMAGTF-CR-AF is deployed to conduct crisis-response and theater-security operations in Europe and Africa, photo by Cpl. Bethanie Ryan/U.S. Marine Corps

    Report

    Equipping the 21st Century Marine Corps: Alternative Equipping Strategies for Task-Organized Units

    Provisional unit equipping differs from the traditional way the Marine Corps equips forces, which places a burden on the logistics enterprise. The totality of the problem demands a multipronged approach as the best course of action.

    Feb 18, 2021

  • A digital image of the globe with red point-to-point paths

    Report

    Managing Risk in Globalized Supply Chains

    This report addresses the challenges the U.S. Air Force faces in mitigating the risks associated with an increasingly globalized weapon supply chain and suggests ways to improve how it addresses such risks.

    Feb 5, 2021

  • An F-16 Fighting Falcon an F-35A Lightning II from Eielson Air Force Base and an F-35A from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, fly over the installation in Alaska, May 15, 2020. With the arrival of the F-35As, the 354th Fighter Wing is now home to fourth and fifth-generation fighter aircraft, photo by Tech. Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Fighter Basing Options to Improve Access to Advanced Training Ranges

    The U.S. Air Force has determined that its fighter pilots do not currently have sufficient access to training ranges that are capable of representing advanced potential adversaries. What squadron restationing and range upgrade policies maximize access to advanced training ranges?

    Feb 5, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Deceive the Enemy with Emerging Technologies

    By using technology to deceive and confuse adversaries, the U.S. Navy can gain a competitive edge.

    Feb 4, 2021

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    The Department of Defense's Posture for Artificial Intelligence: Assessment and Recommendations for Improvement

    In this report, RAND Corporation researchers assess the state of artificial intelligence relevant to the U.S. Department of Defense and provide recommendations for the future of the department's artificial intelligence posture.

    Jan 26, 2021

  • Artist rendering of the Type 26 frigate, photo courtesy of Royal Navy, Australia

    Commentary

    Australian Naval Shipbuilding: First Things First

    Australia will soon begin production of Attack-class submarines and Hunter-class frigates, ostensibly bringing more than $100 billion in new naval ship construction to domestic industry. While many in political and labour circles see this as a boon for Australian companies, actual domestic spending may be far less than imagined.

    Jan 22, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    An Experiment in Tactical Wargaming with Platforms Enabled by Artificial Intelligence

    RAND researchers explored the capabilities and limitations of future artificial intelligence and machine learning weapon systems in two wargame experiments that brought together operators and engineers.

    Dec 29, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin during an end-of-year videoconference with members of the Russian government at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, December 24, 2020, photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/Reuters

    Commentary

    Arms Control Held Hostage

    President-elect Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have wisely promised to extend the 2010 New START Treaty, which cuts long-range nuclear arms. The two leaders may also pursue a broader follow-on accord, but frigid U.S.-Russian relations could put this out of reach. Progress on arms control often comes when political winds are warmer.

    Dec 28, 2020