In the world of aerospace and defense, technological developments have always been a crucial aspect of staying ahead of rivals both for military and commercial players. Now though, perhaps more than ever, technology from other industries is starting to creep into the A&D world and could provide some highly useful new methods of production, learning and protection of assets. The major military players and significant defense companies are experimenting with the potential of many of these developing technologies and they could lead to some significant leaps in capability.
This new technology does come with problems however, and the changing nature of warfare between nations means that threats are increasingly coming from the internet and software rather than troops on the ground. This means players of all types need to be prepared for this technology whether they want to or not. These four technological areas include; 3D printing, blockchain, cybersecurity and big data all of which most A&D firms are now heavily involved in.
The aerospace industry requires precision engineering to produce high specification parts. 3D printers have already proved their worth here: Airbus Group conducted a study to assess the effectiveness of 3D printing on a highly standardized part - an Airbus A320 nacelle hinge bracket. They compared EOS’s titanium printed bracket (using direct metal laser sintering) with a traditionally cast steel bracket. Airbus concluded that EOS’s 3D printed bracket was stronger, lighter and produced 40% less CO2 emissions during manufacture. Moreover, because the 3D printing process used only the material needed to make the part, it eliminated any waste from secondary machining, thereby reducing titanium consumption by 25%.
Blockchain technology, often referred to as “distributed ledger technology” (or DLT) is a means by which the participants in a distributed network can each maintain a copy of an immutable ledger of transactions, and where transactions can be executed without the need for a single, central, coordinating authority. This has a wide variety of applications and many companies are very excited by the possibilities that this offers.
Cybersecurity has been a concern for aerospace and defense companies for decades, due to their roles as operators of critical military infrastructure and providers of essential hardware. However, concern over cybersecurity continues to climb up the defense agenda, driven by the increasingly interconnected nature of infrastructure, hardware and systems, and the growing number of attacks targeting defense related and critical operational information. Military hardware is currently undergoing significant change. Services are becoming ever more integrated through information sharing.
Resultantly, companies working in aerospace and defense are racing to develop cybersecurity systems that can withstand complex and penetrative attacks from governments and independent actors. The transition has been rapid and will undergo further change as artificial intelligence and machine learning begins to play an ever-greater role in the modern battlefield. Given the potential for disruption - such as the grounding of aircraft fleets, collapse of communication systems or general confusion in the command chain - the need for cybersecurity that is reliable and able to withstand cutting-edge attacks will become elevated beyond current levels.
- Examine the major trends in aerospace and defense technology
- See how big data technology is becoming a big target for A&D firms
- Explore the benefits of 3D Printing technology to A&D companies and militaries
- Examine how cyber security has become such an important issue and how companies are trying to solve it
- See how block chain technology is being pursued by A&D companies
Reasons To Buy
- What technology absorbing the attention of modern military planners?
- Where is the money going and is it being spent wisely?
- Are all of the new technologies emerging actually practical?
- What can we expect to see in future wars and does this make the world safer or less safe?