December 5, 2023

Navy Embraces 3D Printing Technology

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The US Navy is an enthusiastic supporter of 3D printing technology, reports. The website says the Naval Air Systems Command has completed some test flights featuring 3D printed critical components. In May, 3D-printed parts for a MV-22 Osprey were used. The Osprey, which was fitted with a partially 3D printed engine nacelle, performed exactly as expected, according to the NAVAIR AM and Digital Thread Integrated Product Team.

On Monday, US planes bombed Islamic State targets in Libya, responding to the UN-backed government’s request to help push the militants from their former stronghold in the city of Sirte, the home of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Reuters reports. “The first air strikes were carried out at specific locations in Sirte [Aug. 1] causing severe losses to enemy ranks,” Libya Prime Minster Fayez Seraj said.

The Associated Press reports that the Iraqi government has its sights set on Mosul, the country’s second largest city. It promises to be the biggest and perhaps last major battle against the Islamic State group in Iraq. Mosul has been under IS control since June 2014.

While many have forecast unmanned aircraft as the future of aviation, US Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Jon “Dog” Davis believes the next generation of medium-lift, long-range rotorcraft should still have a pilot in the cockpit for some missions, Flight Global reports.  “That’s what we definitely want, why wouldn’t you want that?” he said. “Especially for a high reliability airplane, we view that airplane as a manned platform,”he said at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, on Friday.

The introduction of the small unmanned aerial system rule in the US — allowing systems weighing less than 55 pounds access to national airspace below 400 feet – or 100 feet below airspace reserved for manned aviation — is putting pressure on Europe to come up with its own set of rules, Flight Global reports. A new report puts the US ahead of its European counterparts in the introduction of regulations covering the civil use of UAVs.

The navies of the US and Indonesia will come together for the 22nd Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Indonesia bilateral maritime exercise Aug. 3 through 8, DVIDS reports. The exercise will take place on the ground in Surabaya and in the waters and airspace of the Java and Bali seas.

May the best hacker win. Seven teams are participating in this week’s DEF Con Hacking Conference in Nevada, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Cyber Grand Challenge. Teams will compete Aug. 4 in a computer test bed trying to find and patch a variety of bugs hidden inside software that has never been analyzed, and see if they can do it almost instantaneously, Defense Systems reports.

FX News Call reports the US arms business is biggest in the world as has been noted in the latest figures from the Congressional Research Service. The US has earned half of the pie in all global arms transfer agreements in 2014, the report states. Russia is the world’s second largest arms supplier.

US Air Force Gen. Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle sat down for an interview with Breaking Defense recently. Carlisle has been at the center of global allied operations for several years, first at Pacific Air Forces and now at Air Combat Command. During Carlisle’s watch, several new combat assets have come to play in Middle East operations. “Each of the new assets – the F-22, the Typhoon, the Wedgetail and the KC-30A – have performed well. They have proven once again that if you get new assets into the hands of the young men and women in the force that amazing things can happen. The platforms have been pushed to a level that we could not guess at prior to real-world operations,” the general said.

Five aerospace companies — Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Eurofighter, Lockheed Martin and Saab Group — are offering their fighter jets as potential replacement for Canada’s fleet of aging CF-18s, including Lockheed Martin’s F-35, the very jet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged not to buy, The Toronto Star reports.

Eric Fanning, US Army secretary, said Saturday that annual military drills between the US and South Korea would go on as planned next month, reports, despite North Korea’s warning of a showdown if the war games proceed.

Across the armed services, military leaders are scrambling to adapt to the millennial mindset. Army Times asks, “Are younger service members soft? Are they too reliant on technology? Are they buried so deep in social media that face-to-face communication becomes impossible? Are they too busy questioning orders to follow them?

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