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Cost growth in the development and fielding of technologically advanced weapon systems 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 military technology acquisition practices.

  • W01DN9 Chinese technicians monitor the precision, robotic welding of aviation and industrial materials at the Atlantic Welding Industry Park in Zigong, Sichuan Province, China, on November 20, 2017, photo by UPI/Alamy Stock Photo

    Research Brief

    Assessing China's Defense Industrial Base

    What are the systemic strengths and vulnerabilities of China's defense industrial base? A comparative systems analysis looks at six key categories: economics; governance and regulations; raw materials; manufacturing; workforce, labor, and skills; and research, development, and innovation.

    Feb 9, 2022

  • 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

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  • Report

    Report

    Prolonged Cycle Times and Schedule Growth in Defense Acquisition: A Literature Review

    This report summarizes a selection of the defense acquisition literature from the 1960s to the present on potential sources of prolonged acquisition cycle times and schedule growth, as well as potential opportunities for improvement.

    Apr 30, 2014

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2013

    Describes RAND Arroyo Center's research activities in FY13 and summarizes noteworthy studies performed throughout the year.

    Apr 23, 2014

  • A U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator on its final approach to Indian Springs Auxiliary Field in Nevada

    Report

    Armed and Dangerous? UAVs and U.S. Security

    While armed drones are not truly transformative weapons, they do offer the United States some significant advantages, particularly against enemies that lack air defenses. How the United States uses these weapons today and into the future will be important in shaping a broader set of international norms that discourage their misuse by others.

    Apr 7, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Evaluation of National Institute of Justice–Funded Geospatial Software Tools: Technical and Utility Assessments to Improve Tool Development, Dissemination, and Usage

    A geospatial software tool-evaluation study assessed 14 recent tool developments funded by the National Institute of Justice. The study integrates input from tool developers and tool users with RAND's independent tool assessments.

    Apr 3, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Rapid Acquisition of Army Command and Control Systems

    For the last decade, the U.S. Army has quickly acquired systems for war. By examining the nontraditional methods used, this study examines how the Army can improve rapid acquisition, focusing in particular on command and control systems.

    Mar 28, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Lessons Learned from the Afghan Mission Network: Developing a Coalition Contingency Network

    Reviews and assesses the operational and technical history of the Afghan Mission Network, the primary network for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and identifies lessons learned for future coalition networks.

    Mar 28, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Venture Capital and Strategic Investment for Developing Government Mission Capabilities

    Through case studies and economic modeling, this research on government strategic investment will help acquisition managers evaluate strategic investment methods to motivate mission-oriented innovation by private firms.

    Mar 24, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Soldier-Portable Battery Supply: Foreign Dependence and Policy Options

    This report describes government and industry concerns associated with the foreign-dependent supply chain for batteries used by soldiers. It discusses alternative policy options to address these concerns.

    Mar 21, 2014

  • U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol along the international border between Mexico and the United States near San Diego, California, photo by Reuters/Mike Blake

    Report

    Improving Interagency Information Sharing Using Technology Demonstrations

    New and innovative intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technologies developed by the U.S. Department of Defense for the military could also be used by the Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration to help secure the southern U.S. border.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • Deploying soldiers test new female body armor prototype

    Solution

    Lightening Body Armor

    Soldiers serving in Afghanistan regularly marched carrying more than 100 pounds of arms and equipment. Approximately one third of that burden is body armor. How can the weight of body armor be reduced without risking the lives of the soldiers it protects?

    Jan 1, 2014

  • Haleakala Observatory — AEOS 3.67-meter telescope is the largest in the Department of Defense.

    Report

    A Sixty-Year Timeline of the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site

    Since it was built in the 1950s, the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site's mission, management structure, and operational partners have changed several times to accommodate the contemporary challenges and research tools. This timeline documents some of those historical changes.

    Dec 16, 2013

  • a binary illustration

    Research Brief

    Future Technology Landscapes: Insights, Analysis, and Implications for Defense

    Given the growing volume of primarily civil technology that can both impact and be leveraged by defense and security capabilities, the UK Ministry of Defense sought insights into relevant future technology and innovation models.

    Dec 5, 2013

  • digital globe

    Report

    Case Studies Explore Future Technology Landscapes

    Case studies explore a growing volume of primarily civil technology that can both potentially impact and be exploited as UK defense and security capabilities.

    Dec 5, 2013

  • binary face future technology landscape

    Report

    Implications of Future Technology Landscapes for Defense

    To help the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) assess and harness wider investment in relevant technology areas, researchers examine a growing volume of primarily civil technology that can both potentially impact and be exploited as defense and security capabilities.

    Dec 5, 2013

  • Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province

    Commentary

    Satellites for Rent

    Reports earlier this year that the U.S. Department of Defense leased a Chinese satellite to support military operations in Africa sparked concern that the arrangement could compromise control over U.S. military communications, or, worse, allow Chinese intelligence gatherers access to privileged military data.

    Nov 8, 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

  • Report

    Improving Air Force Enterprise Resource Planning-Enabled Business Transformation

    RAND Project AIR FORCE identified key conditions to aid the success of business transformation enabled by enterprise resource planning systems, challenges the Air Force must address to achieve them, and options for overcoming these challenges.

    Oct 25, 2013

  • A autonomous vehicle maneuvers over concrete blocks during a demonstration.

    Commentary

    War Robots Will Lessen Killing — Not Increase It

    Could armed autonomous robots embark on a campaign of indiscriminate killing? John Matsumura says there is a convincing base of evidence that robots are more likely to prevent slaughter than engage in it.

    Oct 18, 2013

  • Soldiers quickly walk to the ramp of the CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter that will return them to Kandahar Army Air Field.

    Report

    Improving Readiness Reporting for an Adaptive Army

    The Army has developed an impressive capacity to adapt to emerging requirements by providing units with new capabilities rapidly and flexibly. While the readiness reporting system still works as originally intended, however, the current readiness reporting system captures only a portion of the adaptations readily seen in recent years.

    Oct 10, 2013

  • A soldier with the Army's intelligence community demonstrated use of a portion of the Army's Distributed Common Ground System

    Commentary

    Calling for a Time-Out in the Army Intelligence Software Debate

    The Army's Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) program has been getting much attention from Congress, and its future was the subject of a heated exchange between the Army's Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno and Representative Duncan Hunter in May.

    Aug 21, 2013