Military Technology

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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.

  • 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

    Mar 30, 2020

    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?

  • A Skyborg conceptual design for a low-cost attritable unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), image by Air Force Research Laboratory

    Report

    Military Applications of AI Raise Ethical Concerns

    Apr 28, 2020

    Artificial intelligence offers great promise for national defense. For example, a growing number of robotic vehicles and autonomous weapons can operate in areas too hazardous for soldiers. But what are the ethical implications of using AI in war or even to enhance security in peacetime?

Explore Military Technology

  • 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

  • Report

    Report

    Sustaining the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Mission

    This report proposes a double-layered framework for efficiently integrating and managing the sustainment activities of the U.S. Air Force nuclear enterprise in the face of reduced funding and a smaller force structure.

    Jul 31, 2013

  • Periodical

    2012 RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report

    This annual report describes Arroyo's research activities in 2012, with profiles of its five programs providing a close look at the year's research agenda. RAND Arroyo Center is the Army's federally funded research and development center for studies and analyses. Its mission is to help Army leaders make decisions that are informed by independent, objective, high-quality analysis.

    May 17, 2013