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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

Explore Military Technology

  • 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

  • Report

    Report

    Neurological Effects of Repeated Exposure to Military Occupational Levels of Blast: A Review of Scientific Literature

    There is increasing concern over the common, repetitive forms of blast to which military members are exposed during service, and how those exposures could affect the central nervous system. The authors of this report review the relevant literature.

    Mar 18, 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

  • Robot hand touching CGI lightbulb, photo by PhonlamaiPhoto/Getty Images

    Blog

    National Security Commission on AI Requests New Ideas; RAND Responds

    The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence put out an open call for submissions about emerging technology's role in the global order. RAND researchers stepped up to the challenge and submitted a wide range of ideas.

    Feb 21, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Assessment of Alternative Funding Models for Activities in RDECOM (Now CCDC) and ATEC

    Current funding models and impacts of alternative models are assessed by the authors to help the U.S. Army increase the transparency of reimbursable accounting practices and improve auditability at two Army commands.

    Feb 6, 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

  • 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

  • Australian flag waving in blue sky, photo by MicroStockHub/Getty Images

    Commentary

    B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber Is Handy, but It May Not Be the Perfect Fit

    Some in the Australian security community have called for significant changes to the Australian Defence Force structure in response to changing global strategic conditions. Before Australia considers any new long-range strike capabilities, an analysis of alternatives that examines both cost and capability is essential.

    Dec 2, 2019

  • Artificial intelligence concept, photo by kentoh/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Military Deception: AI's Killer App?

    Contrary to the promise that AI would deliver an omniscient view of everything happening in the battlespace—the goal of U.S. military planners for decades—it now appears that technologies of misdirection are winning. Military deception, in short, could prove to be AI’s killer app.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Running 3d wireframe man in an abstract environment, photo by imaginima/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Embrace Open-Source Military Research to Win the AI Competition

    Unless the Pentagon embraces a more open approach to artificial intelligence, it will be left behind. Private sector innovation in this space is too fast. But what are the risks of disseminating potentially sensitive AI technology? And what should not be disclosed?

    Oct 16, 2019

  • Report

    Report

    Reflections on the Future of Warfare and Implications for Personnel Policies of the U.S. Department of Defense

    This Perspective summarizes and synthesizes material from a workshop addressing how U.S. Department of Defense personnel policies may evolve to address future warfare environments, which are expected to be heavily influenced by advanced technologies.

    Oct 16, 2019

  • uturistic soldiers wearing virtual reality goggles, photo by Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images

    Report

    Next-Generation Wargaming for the U.S. Marine Corps

    The U.S. Marine Corps has an opportunity to adopt wargaming best practices, tools, and approaches from other sources and adapt them to suit its needs. What courses of action should the Marine Corps take toward building its next-generation wargaming concept?

    Oct 16, 2019

  • Commercial Book

    Commercial Book

    Emitter Detection and Geolocation for Electronic Warfare

    This comprehensive resource provides theoretical formulation for detecting and geolocating non-cooperative emitters.

    Oct 7, 2019

  • Artificial Intelligence, Graphical User Interface, photo by kontekbrothers/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Code of Conduct for AI in Defense Should Be an Extension of Other Military Codes

    An AI code of conduct for defense should look a lot like all other defense codes of conduct. A global society that would create the Geneva Convention is a society that believes in a moral code for warfare. This same code could extend into its weaponized algorithms.

    Sep 11, 2019

  • A pilot flies an MQ-9 Reaper drone from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, July 10, 2017, photo by SrA Chase Cannon/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    Here's What an AI Code of Conduct for the Pentagon Might Look Like

    Advocates want a code of conduct for how artificial intelligence will be used and oversight to ensure it is being followed. DoD could identify areas where it might use AI in the foreseeable future and set rules and guidelines for business uses, non-lethal military uses, and lethal uses.

    Jun 24, 2019

  • NATO flag against a background of binary numbers, photo by robsonphoto/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Cyberspace as a Military Domain: Lessons for NATO

    In 2016, NATO identified cyberspace as a new operational domain. What steps has the alliance taken since then to bolster its cyber capabilities? And what are the greatest challenges that still lie ahead?

    Jun 20, 2019

  • Soldier and civilian shaking hands on white background, photo by Adobe Stock/Africa Studio and U.S. Army/Jim Goodwin

    Report

    Service Member Separation: Updating the DD Form 214

    This report offers suggestions for updating DD Form 214, which is used to characterize separating servicemembers' service, military history, and the reasons for separation, for electronic delivery.

    May 14, 2019