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

  • Cyber warfare specialists engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Maryland, June 3, 2017, photo by J.M. Eddins Jr./U.S. Air Force

    Report

    The Defense Industrial Base Needs a Cyber Protection Program

    The unclassified networks of defense industrial base firms have become a target for adversaries seeking to steal sensitive data, trade secrets, and intellectual property. How can the U.S. Department of Defense better secure these networks?

    Mar 30, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Measuring Cybersecurity and Cyber Resiliency

    This report presents a framework for the development of metrics -- and a method for scoring them -- that indicates how well a U.S. Air Force mission or system is expected to perform in a cyber-contested environment.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • A Marine fires a Javelin during Operation Lava Viper at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, May 27, 2015, photo by Cpl. Ricky Gomez/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    Indications of Institutional Inertia: The FY2021 USMC Budget

    The Grim Reaper is a 700-foot-tall series of hills that Marine Corps recruits must summit to graduate from boot camp. As the Marine Corps attempts to transform from a second land army and counterinsurgency force to operate within contested maritime spaces, its recent budget request suggests that it will need to climb its own Grim Reaper to get there.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Aviation mechanic works on a Sea Hawk helicopter

    Report

    Naval Aviation Maintenance System: Analysis of Alternatives

    The U.S. Navy's aviation maintenance capability suffers from supportability issues because of its antiquated software architecture and codebase. Would migrating to a commercial off-the-shelf solution help modernize the Navy's afloat and ashore maintenance capabilities?

    Mar 9, 2020

  • Blog

    New START, Trump's Middle East Peace Plan, New Tobacco Products: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on why the United States should extend the New START agreement, the Trump administration's Middle East peace plan, new tobacco products, and more.

    Feb 21, 2020

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty at Prague Castle in the Czech Republic, April 8, 2010, photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

    Report

    The Military Case for Extending New START

    The most prudent course of action would be for Washington to extend the U.S.-Russia New START agreement before it expires in February 2021. This would constrain Russia's nuclear forces covered by the treaty for five more years. And it would buy time to pursue multilateral negotiations that also include China.

    Feb 14, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin uses a pair of binoculars while overseeing the military exercises known as "Centre-2019" in Orenburg Region, Russia September 20, 2019, photo by Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    Jumpstarting Arms Control Talks with Russia: A Low-Risk Gambit

    In 2019, Russia proposed a moratorium on missile deployments in Europe. If the United States does not accept, it could increase the threat to NATO allies and provide Moscow with more bargaining chips in future arms negotiations.

    Feb 13, 2020

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev exchange the signed new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) at Prague Castle in Prague, April 8, 2010, photo by Petr Josek/Reuters

    Commentary

    Stabilizing the Nuclear Cold War

    Russia and the United States are still locked in a nuclear cold war. Thousands of nuclear weapons are deployed, some on high alert. Although the United States prudently withdrew from several past arms control treaties with Russia, it could be in America's interest to extend New START.

    Feb 13, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Autonomous Vehicle Technology May Improve Safety for U.S. Army Convoys

    The technology to make a U.S. Army convoy fully autonomous doesn't exist yet. But Army convoys could be made safer for soldiers by implementing autonomous vehicle technology to reduce the number of service members needed to operate the vehicles.

    Feb 12, 2020

  • Blog

    Civic Engagement and Health, the State of the Union, Better Sleep: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the link between civic engagement and health, policy insights from the State of the Union address, what couples can do to improve their sleep, and more.

    Feb 7, 2020

  • An M1075 palletized load system truck and an M915 line-haul tractor are equipped with add-on kits that transform the vehicles to be fully autonomous, photo by Bruce Huffman/U.S. Army

    Report

    How the Army Could Use Automated Driving Technology

    Fully automated convoys are not yet feasible, but U.S. Army R&D communities have been testing automated truck concepts in which manned and unmanned vehicles perform cooperatively in convoy operations. What are the potential benefits and risks of deploying this technology over the next five years?

    Feb 5, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 19, 2019, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Report

    What Provokes Putin's Russia?

    Even with an understanding of what Russia considers to be redlines, predicting its reactions is challenging. An analysis of past instances of Russian escalation—and instances when redlines were crossed but Russia did not respond—offers guidance for U.S. and NATO deterrence efforts.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • Artificial intelligence concept of eye with overlay of military helicopter and submarine, images by 4X-image/Getty Images; design by Jessica Arana/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Thinking Machines Will Change Future Warfare

    Until now, deterrence has been about humans trying to dissuade other humans from doing something. But what if the thinking is done by AI and autonomous systems? A wargame explored what happens to deterrence when decisions can be made at machine speeds and when states can put fewer human lives at risk.

    Jan 27, 2020

  • A projectile is fired during North Korea's missile tests in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Japan's North Korea Challenge in 2020

    North Korea began 2020 by announcing a shift toward a more hard-line foreign policy approach. While this is bad news for all countries in the region, it is particularly unwelcome for Japan.

    Jan 27, 2020

  • A soldier aims a portable anti-aircraft weapon at a target

    Report

    Acquisition and Use of MANPADS Against Commercial Aviation: Risks, Proliferation, Mitigation, and Cost of an Attack

    This report provides a summary of the risks, proliferation, costs of man-portable air defense system attacks against commercial aviation targets. It also presents mitigation options against such an attack.

    Dec 30, 2019

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees a super-large multiple launch rocket system test in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Commentary

    North Korea Holds Most of the Cards in Nuclear Negotiations

    North Korea has been reminding the United States that the window to negotiate a nuclear deal is closing. Pyongyang will likely continue trying to force Washington's hand into a deal that allows North Korea to keep its weapons while still reaping economic and political concessions.

    Dec 20, 2019

  • News Release

    News Release

    Pentagon's Ambitious Vision and Strategy for AI Not Yet Backed by Sufficient Visibility or Resources

    The U.S. Department of Defense has articulated an ambitious vision and strategy for artificial intelligence (AI) with the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center as the focal point, but the DoD has yet to provide the JAIC with the visibility, authorities and resource commitments needed to scale AI and its impact across the department.

    Dec 17, 2019

  • Computer simulation of military aircraft and missiles, photo by Devrimb/Getty Images

    Report

    How Well Is DoD Positioned for AI?

    The U.S. Department of Defense has articulated an ambitious vision and strategy for artificial intelligence. But if it wants to get the maximum benefit from AI-enhanced systems, then it will need to improve its posture along multiple dimensions.

    Dec 17, 2019

  • Circuit board with chip with image of missile, photo by guirong hao/Getty Images

    Commentary

    AI for Peace

    The United States should apply lessons from the 70-year history of governing nuclear technology by building a framework for governing AI military technology. An AI for Peace program should articulate the dangers of this new technology, principles to manage the dangers, and a structure to shape the incentives for other states.

    Dec 13, 2019

  • A fighter loyal to Libya's U.N.-backed government looks at a room burned during clashes with troops loyal to Khalifa Haftar in Tripoli, Libya, May 28, 2019, photo by Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

    Commentary

    Can Anything Stop the Flow of Advanced Weapons into Libya?

    Weapons proliferation has been a security concern for Libya and its neighbors since the revolution of 2011. If foreign arms transfers into Libya aren't reduced, the country's security situation will continue to deteriorate, giving militant groups a chance to increase their lethality and further destabilize the region.

    Dec 13, 2019