US Navy, Army, NASA Ramp up Additive Manufacturing Investigations

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* The US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) will hold an industry day on additive manufacturing (AM) on July 24 in Solomons, MD. They don’t have a program of record for 3D printing just yet, but are interested in R&D demonstrations to develop a roadmap for how this technology may affect their programs. * Just last month the US Army’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) established their own collaborative Additive Manufacturing Integrated Product Team (IPT). The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has also been looking into AM for several years. It all begs the question: are these efforts additive or redundant? * Following success with the DDG-1000’s LRLAP ultra-long range, GPS-guided 155mm shells, the US Navy is looking at something similar for its standard 5″/ 127mm naval guns. Previous projects have been disasters, but BAE & Lockheed are privately spinning off their LRLAP tech into 5″ rounds, Oto Melara has their Vulcano now, and Raytheon has a very interesting Excalibur N5 variant. Think Tank Calls Defense Establishment to Think, Not Tank * The center-left Center for a New American Security think tank released a report [PDF] on technology, […]

* The US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) will hold an industry day on additive manufacturing (AM) on July 24 in Solomons, MD. They don’t have a program of record for 3D printing just yet, but are interested in R&D demonstrations to develop a roadmap for how this technology may affect their programs.

* Just last month the US Army’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) established their own collaborative Additive Manufacturing Integrated Product Team (IPT). The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has also been looking into AM for several years. It all begs the question: are these efforts additive or redundant?

* Following success with the DDG-1000’s LRLAP ultra-long range, GPS-guided 155mm shells, the US Navy is looking at something similar for its standard 5″/ 127mm naval guns. Previous projects have been disasters, but BAE & Lockheed are privately spinning off their LRLAP tech into 5″ rounds, Oto Melara has their Vulcano now, and Raytheon has a very interesting Excalibur N5 variant.

Think Tank Calls Defense Establishment to Think, Not Tank

* The center-left Center for a New American Security think tank released a report [PDF] on technology, strategy and the future of the global defense industry that covers themes well known to DID readers, from globalization to the loss of technological leadership to commercial vendors from the IT sector:

“The defense industry is moving too slowly to adjust to current trends in the technology and security environments. The short-term financial focus on keeping stock prices high through share repurchases and increasing dividends has thus far deferred more substantial integration of and investments in next-generation technologies. The Pentagon and the defense industry must take a far more active role in shaping their own intertwined futures.”

Tough Times in Europe

* WaPo: Ukrainian troops retreat from two outposts after battles with separatists, and reportedly running out of ammo.

* Any readers thinking of joining the Serbian Air Force might want a Plan B. It reportedly has no flyable fighters, and organizational issues so severe that it could drop to zero viable aircraft of any type.

Sweating Bullets in a Sub

* The former Captain of the UK’s HMS Turbulent can finally tell the story of how his nuclear attack submarine’s crew battled to survive, after a nearly-catastrophic malfunction at sea near the UAE 3 years ago. Aircraft fear birds, but it turns out crustaceans are fearsome for submarines.

Too Cozy for Comfort

* 20 minutes into today’s video, former Defense Acquisition Undersecretary and Pentagon Deputy Ashton Carter talked candidly about the behavior of the JSF program office when he tried to wrap his mind around the causes for cost overruns (hat tip Inside Defense):

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