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

  • An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies during a mission at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, February 14, 2019, photo by Staff Sgt. John Raven/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    What Is the Long-Term Strategy for Ukraine's Air Force?

    It is encouraging that Ukraine might receive F-16s to improve its combat capabilities. Western policymakers might begin thinking now about what the Ukrainian Air Force may require in the future, especially if the Russian threat remains acute.

    Jun 6, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Arming Teachers, F-16s in Ukraine, Commercial Spaceflight: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how teachers feel about arming teachers, what F-16s will (and won't) do for Ukraine, the need to regulate commercial spaceflight, and more.

    Jun 2, 2023

  • Three U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons fly over the Pacific Ocean, February 10, 2022, photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew Lotz/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    What F-16s Will (and Won't) Do for Ukraine

    After months of publicly lobbying to acquire U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, it appears that Ukraine may receive them later this year. However, there remains a long road ahead before the F-16s would see service in Ukraine—and it is an open question how much they would affect the outcome of the war.

    May 31, 2023

  • An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft has its landing gear extended to land at the U.S. military airfield at Spangdahlem, Germany, May 17, 2023, photo by Harald Tittel/dpa via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Military Assistance to Ukraine Is a Rare Success

    Recently, the United States reversed its long-standing opposition to sending Ukraine F-16 advanced aircraft to aid its fight against Russia. The policy reversal is a smart call. Once the aircraft are delivered and training is complete the jets will help Ukraine defend its territory more efficiently, and might even help end the war.

    May 26, 2023

  • F-16 fighters from Poland on air policing mission along NATO allied air space, March 24, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    F-16s Will Bolster Ukraine's Fighting Force

    F-16s going to Ukraine could help it defend against Russian aerial assaults. But their greatest value may be to augment future Ukrainian counteroffensives aimed at retaking occupied land. This will require training and exercising, but Ukrainian forces are fully capable of mastering it.

    May 25, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Aerial Minefields Can Put the 'Miss' in Missiles

    The growing missile threat is the greatest tactical challenge of the early 21st century. Adversaries ranging from near-peer competitors to rebel groups increasingly can wield highly accurate missiles that can strike ships, ground forces, and key installations.

    May 23, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Rethink Mine Countermeasures

    Despite efforts to reduce the timelines, costs,and risks associated with MCM operations, mines remain cost-imposing weapons that can deny access for protracted periods or inflict unacceptable losses on the U.S. Navy.

    May 23, 2023

  • The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752) breaks through Arctic ice.

    Journal Article

    Strategic Competition in the Arctic

    Emerging geopolitical dynamics and the changing physical environment of the Arctic are both contributing to its increased strategic importance.

    May 23, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Coast Guard Operations: Emerging Challenges and Responses

    Coast guards around the globe face a tremendous confluence of challenges. By anticipating these challenges and finding ways to overcome them, coastguards around the globe can continue to protect both people at sea and the maritime environment.

    May 19, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Defend Taiwan with Naval Mines

    As part of a porcupine strategy, mine warfare can make Taiwan less vulnerable to attack.

    May 19, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Lead Forward: Mobility Air Force Command Nodes for Complex Operations

    Motivated by the future threat to air force command and control networks and forces, the authors identify the demands of future conflicts and consider alternative options for the design of wing-level command and control elements.

    May 15, 2023

  • Numerous square concrete blocks are stacked on top of each other underwater to create an artificial reef, photo by Placebo365/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Defending Taiwan with Artificial Reefs

    Deterring a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is arguably the most important defense problem of the next few decades. Artificial reefs could help to deter China simply by waiting to impale any potential invasion force.

    May 10, 2023

  • The aftermath of the U.S. Army Air Corps' bombing of Dresden during World War Two

    Report

    Alternative Futures Following a Great Power War: Volume 1, Scenarios, Findings, and Recommendations

    RAND researchers generated four plausible near-term great power war scenarios and assessed how they could shape the postwar strategic environment.

    May 9, 2023

  • Americans gather to read headlines about the German invasion of Poland that triggered World War II, September 1, 1939, photo by Everett Collection/Alamy

    Research Brief

    The Aftermath of a Great Power War

    A review of historical great power wars shows that prewar predictions about who would fight, how long the war would last, and how the world would look afterward were often wrong. It's important to understand what the outcomes of different conflicts could look like and how to better prepare for them.

    May 9, 2023

  • Two U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft fly over Iraq and Syria, July 17, 2021, pTwo U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft fly over Iraq and Syria, July 17, 2021

    Commentary

    Why Does Ukraine Want Western Jets?

    Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Ukraine has requested Western fighter jets. Why does it want them? Of what use could they be? And what are some of their limitations?

    May 3, 2023

  • A Coast Guard unmanned aircraft system hovers during training in Astoria, Oregon, February 24, 2023, photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diolanda Caballero/U.S. Coast Guard

    Commentary

    Coast Guard Leans Forward in New UxS Strategy but Faces Significant Challenges

    The rise of unmanned systems creates a challenging landscape for the U.S. Coast Guard as it endeavors to conduct its diverse missions in the future. To address emerging technologies and prepare for forthcoming threats, the service recently released a strategic plan.

    May 3, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Violence in Sudan, Alcohol Use, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the violence in Sudan, preventing alcohol-related deaths, the North Korean nuclear threat, and more.

    Apr 28, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    The Resilience Assessment Framework: Assessing Commercial Contributions to U.S. Space Force Mission Resilience

    This report describes the resilience assessment framework that RAND Project AIR FORCE developed to assess the potential impact of integrating select commercial space services on U.S. Space Force mission performance.

    Apr 27, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Characterizing the Uncrewed Systems Industrial Base

    The Department of Defense has hypothesized that future demand for uncrewed systems (UxS) will strain the capacity of the defense industrial base (DIB). This report contains an analysis of UxS demand and recommendations on strengthening the DIB.

    Apr 26, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence near Moscow, Russia, February 17, 2023, photo by Vladimir Astapkovich/Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    Countering Russia's Nuclear Threat in Europe

    President Vladimir Putin's announced plan to put nuclear arms in Belarus may pose risks to NATO's nuclear posture. Three decades after the Soviet collapse, some allies might be uneasy about reenergizing NATO's nuclear mission. But others might argue that not responding to Russia's plans could cause the Kremlin to doubt NATO's nuclear credibility.

    Apr 20, 2023