Military Ships and Naval Vessels

  • The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, en route to the Western Pacific Ocean

    Research Brief

    Chinese Threats to U.S. Surface Ships

    China has rapidly improved its ability to reliably locate and attack U.S. carrier-strike groups at distances of up to 2,000 kilometers from its coast in a possible military conflict.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chinese army Gen. Fang Fenghui, China's chief of the general staff, salute during a ceremony in Beijing, April 22, 2013

    Research Brief

    Tallying the U.S.-China Military Scorecard

    A set of “scorecards” assesses the relative capabilities of U.S. and Chinese military forces in diverse types of conflict, at varying distances from the Chinese mainland, and at different points in time.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy recruits march during a parade in Qingdao, Shandong province, December 5, 2013


    China's Military Modernization Increasingly Challenges U.S. Defense Capabilities in Asia

    Although China continues to lag behind the United States in terms of aggregate military hardware and operational skills, it has improved its capabilities relative to those of the U.S. in many critical areas. Moreover, China does not need to catch up fully in order to challenge U.S. ability to conduct effective military operations near the Chinese mainland.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea May 21, 2015


    China's Airfield Construction at Fiery Cross Reef in Context: Catch-Up or Coercion?

    Even if China really sees itself as undertaking legitimate activities to protect its rightful interests, it is not surprising that its rival claimants, as well as the United States and other countries in the region, see Beijing's island building activities as efforts to improve China's abilities to bully its neighbors.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • Marines approach the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard in a combat rubber raiding craft following a simulated boat assault to support a certification exercise in the Coral Sea, Aug. 8, 2013


    Allocating Marine Expeditionary Unit Equipment to Minimize Shortfalls: Third Edition

    In many cases, the available space on a Marine Expeditionary Unit's ships falls far short of what is needed to transport the full set of required equipment. A RAND-developed software tool was designed to help limit the effects of these shortfalls.

    May 21, 2015

  • A Chinese Coast Guard vessel in the South China Sea maneuvers to block a Philippine supply ship with members of the media aboard, March 29, 2014


    China's Island-Building Stirs Fears, but Creates Openings for the United States

    News of proposed Navy patrols nearby disputed islands claimed by China suggests that the United States is toughening its response to Beijing's assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    May 18, 2015

  • The Royal Australian Navy guided-missile frigate HMAS Perth arrives in Pearl Harbor during a routine port visit


    Weighing Options for Australia's Naval Shipbuilding

    Australia is examining an enterprise-level naval shipbuilding plan. All three options—sustaining a domestic naval shipbuilding industry, buying ships from foreign shipbuilders, or building ships partially in-country and partially overseas—have complex consequences and trade-offs.

    Apr 15, 2015

  • Littoral Combat Ships under construction in Mobile, Alabama


    The Economic Consequences of Investing in Shipbuilding: Case Studies in the United States and Sweden

    This report assesses the economic impacts that a shipbuilder has on its local community and region. The authors utilize a case study methodology to examine two U.S. shipbuilders and the Saab Aeronautics Gripen program in Sweden.

    Apr 15, 2015

  • Royal Australian Navy ship


    Options for Australia's Next Generation of Naval Surface Combatants

    Researchers answer questions regarding ship design and build options available to the Royal Australia Navy; various phases, options, and decisions; and aspects that can contribute to the success of Australia's major ship acquisition program.

    Dec 22, 2014

  • The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin fires two SM-2 missiles during Exercise Valiant Shield 2014


    The Role of Maritime and Air Power in the DoD's Third Offset Strategy

    Russia and China have been investing in military modernization programs to blunt the U.S. military's technological edge, fielding advanced aircraft, submarines, and both longer range and more accurate missiles. The DoD's Third Offset Strategy is a much-needed initiative to identify and invest in innovative ways to sustain and advance America's military dominance for the 21st century.

    Dec 2, 2014

  • Sailors patrol through yellow smoke simulating chemical, biological, and radiological exposure during combat


    Developing Navy Capability to Recover Forces in Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Hazard Environments

    How do you recover and decontaminate amphibious forces if they are attacked with chemical, biological, or radiological weapons while ashore?

    Jan 28, 2014

  • New Orleans Facility,Progress Photo,Anchorage,LPD 23,Forward Looking Aft

    Journal Article

    Strengthening the Shipbuilding Industry

    The U.S. Navy and the shipbuilding industrial base on which it depends on are approaching a critical juncture. Unless the Navy and U.S. shipbuilders adopt an integrated set of broad management strategies the United States runs the risk of shortchanging its capabilities to design and produce naval warships for several generations.

    Dec 1, 2013

  • Report

    U.S. Navy Employment Options for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs)

    In what ways, and to what degree are unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) suitable for supporting U.S. Navy missions and functions? This report briefly characterizes the current and emerging USV marketplaces to provide a baseline for near-term capabilities, describes USV concepts of employment to support diverse U.S. Navy missions and functions, and evaluates these concepts of employment to identify specific missions and functions for which they are highly suitable.

    Nov 1, 2013

  • U.S. helicopter squadron in the Persian Gulf launches an MK-105 Mod 4 Sled


    By Land and by Sea

    There are good reasons for the United States to rethink how it counterbalances Iran, reassures local allies, and projects power with fewer resources. However, tying down large numbers of fighter aircraft in the Gulf is likely only to exacerbate old problems and create new ones.

    Jul 22, 2013

  • Report

    Assessing Aegis Program Transition to an Open-Architecture Model

    To reduce costs and take advantage of commercial technology, the U.S. Navy is pursuing open-architecture software and other improvements to its Aegis combat system. This report examines the potential benefits and challenges of this new approach.

    May 3, 2013

  • Report

    RAND NSRD Annual Report 2011-2012

    Surveys the work of the RAND National Security Research Division from the spring of 2011 through the winter of 2012.

    Jun 8, 2012

  • Report

    CANES Contracting Strategies for Full Deployment

    Examines contracting alternatives for the full deployment phase of the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services system, intended to give the U.S. Navy a common set of key command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence networks.

    May 24, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Australia's Domestic Submarine Design Capabilities: Options for the Future Submarine

    To design a new naval submarine domestically, Australia's industry and Government will need about 1,000 skilled draftsmen and engineers. Cultivating this workforce could take 15-20 years; partnering with foreign designers could expedite the process.

    Dec 22, 2011

  • News Release

    RAND Issues New Study on Australia's Submarine Design Capabilities and Capacities

    When it comes to designing a new submarine, Australia has considerable expertise, but some gaps still exist.

    Dec 15, 2011

  • Submarine schematic


    Australia Has Considerable Expertise in Submarine Design, but Gaps Still Exist

    The Royal Australian Navy intends to acquire 12 new submarines to replace its Collins-class vessels. RAND assessed the domestic engineering and design skills that Australian industry and government will need to design the new submarine, identified the skills they currently possess, and evaluated how to fill any gaps between the two.

    Dec 15, 2011