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American Styles of Military Research and Development,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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If the American military RD style is difficult to categorize or to define, it is at least possible to suggest that outcomes have improved in recent years, that the process works reasonably well, and that by all the standards we can apply it is increasingly effective. It is changing, in considerable part because the Department of Defense has largely abandoned efforts to order up technology without regard for costs. Caution and risk aversion seem to be more pronounced both in selecting new systems and in committing to production. Consider that for various reasons, mostly quite sound, the B-1 and the American SST were cancelled. American military RD style is characteristically inconsistent in many aspects. In general, the USSR prefers an RD process that proceeds from the orderly improvement of previously developed systems and for the last 35 years the United States has preferred starting systems from scratch and seeking bold technical advances. Of course there are exceptions to both generalizations and, in the American case, styles are changing. In areas where technology is changing rapidly, where new initiatives are frequent, where both payoff and risk are potentially large, the U.S. military RD style has a decided advantage over that of the Soviet Union.
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