Sponsored by Hobson Industries
26 Feb 20. Tyron Runflat announced its progression to the fourth stage of the British Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) 2020. AWE20 acts as a capability spotlight to allow the army to explore emerging and innovative technologies that may be suitable for rapid exploitation to meet land force requirements and overcome the challenges of the modern battlefield.
Tyron is one of around 80 submissions that have made it through an initial Dragon’s Den competition and two industry days with its market-disrupting multi-piece rubber runflat tyre solutions for military armoured vehicles, designed to keep a vehicle mobile in the event of a tyre strike caused by IED or ballistic attack.
As Tyron runflat systems are made from rubber, they offer military vehicles a number of practical benefits in the field; namely, rubber absorbs shock from impingement caused by curb strikes, potholes and operating in a hostile environment, and drastically reduces the vibration and stresses that are transmitted through the runflat to the wheels, axles and drive shafts. Secondly, rubber is a compliant material and therefore prevents the damage caused to the tyre from impingement between the runflat and the inside of the tyre. As a result, rubber minimises the damage to the inner liner, body plies and/or bead areas of the tyre that can be caused by runflats made of rigid materials such as plastics/composites – damage that may eventually lead to the splitting, blistering, bulging and/or separation of tyre structural plies and pressure inflation loss or tyre failure.
“The advantages of rubber runflat solutions translate into a clearly-defined advantage on the modern battlefield, where the threat to armoured vehicles by IEDs and similar continues to be significant,” Peter Simson, Director at Tyron, said. “That advantage is simple – our technology keeps vehicles moving beyond defined military standards of 50km, preferably 75km with two or more tyres deflated and a minimum of two hours off-road negotiating hills and obstacles like curb strikes. In other words, we get vehicles and their crew back to base.”
With an eye to reducing the logistics footprint of the army, Tyron is also targeting the need for field serviceability and flexibility of use in service with its modular runflat systems that are field mountable and demountable, and don’t require a hydraulic press to squeeze the runflat into the tyre.
“The reality is that military forces are still having to manage huge logistics tailbacks for their armoured vehicle tyres in theatre – including having to fly wheel structures to the nearest base to replace the tyre when it is damaged, because the equipment to replace the tyre is not mobile or transportable,” Peter Simson explained. “That is why what we are demonstrating to the British Army at AWE20 is game-changing technology: rubber runflats that keep vehicles moving and can be replaced in the field with standard tooling and equipment.”
The next stage is “AWE Summer 20” during which fit and function trials which will allow participants to demonstrate equipment for the army.
25 Feb 20. Aerial Refueling, Sealift Capability Vital to Readiness, Transcom Commander Says. Aerial refueling and sealift forces require attention so they can meet current and future challenges, the commander of U.S. Transportation Command told lawmakers.
Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons testified today at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2021 and the Future Years Defense Program.
“Aerial refueling as a force element is the most-stressed force element in the Transcom portfolio, both for day-to-day operations as well as for high-end conflict,” he said.
The KC-46 Pegasus is an important aspect of aerial refueling tanker modernization, he said. However, delays in delivery of capable KC-46s, combined with reductions of KC-10 Extenders and KC-135 Stratotankers, have created ”a critical and deepening gap” in aerial refueling capability for the next five to seven years, the general told the senators.
All three aircraft are used for aerial refueling, with last year’s delivery of the first KC-46 marking the start of replacing the aging KC-10 Extender, which entered service in 1981, and the KC-135 Stratotanker, which entered service in 1957. A solution for the KC-46 delivery delays will likely be retention of 13 KC-135s and 10 KC-10s that were slated for retirement, Lyons said.
The No. 2 readiness concern is the strategic sealift fleet, which is responsible for moving about 90% of wartime cargo, the Transcom commander said.
“The current readiness of our fleet is below where it needs to be,” he added.
Sealift readiness rates have declined to 59% compared against a goal of 85%, with vessel material condition and age as the primary factors. By the mid-2030s, more than half of the sealift fleet will be unusable, Lyons told the Senate panel in his written testimony.
Most sealift ships are reaching the age at which maintenance and repair costs are escalating and service-life extensions will not yield proportional increases in readiness, he added.
To increase fleet readiness, the general said Transcom is working with the Navy to buy seven of its used vessels. He said he anticipates the purchase of the first two in fiscal year 2021.
With 85% of U.S. forces stationed in the United States, it is Transcom’s job to project and sustain the force globally in support of the secretary of defense’s strategic priorities.
“Power projection is a distinct U.S. comparative advantage,” Lyons said, noting that reliance on allies and partners increases that advantage.
Lyons provided senators with some of U.S. Transcom’s recent achievements.
With a no-notice alert, the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division was moved to the U.S. Central Command area of operations from the United States in less than five and a half days, he said.
In 2019, he said Transcom:
- Moved 43 brigades overseas;
- Moved 26 million square feet of cargo worldwide;
- Refueled multiple bomber and fighter aircraft, dispensing 956.6 million gallons of fuel; and
- Transported 1.9 million passengers. (Source: Space Connect)
24 Feb 20. HMAS Anzac nears end of external maintenance period. The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Anzac-class frigate HMAS Anzac is nearing the end of the 81-week external maintenance period.
The frigate is undergoing its Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP).
The upgrade programme is being conducted at Henderson shipyard.
This programme will help Anzac frigates fill the requirement gaps, especially after the decommissioning of Australian vessels HMA Ships Success (II), Melbourne (III) and Newcastle.
Upgradation works on Anzac include the installation of a new phased array air search radar with an enhanced communications suite.
The upgrade will also provide an improved cooling system with other platform systems remediation (PSR).
PSR involves the upgrade of propulsion control, fridges, waste management, and water production systems. The programme aims to make Anzac ready for combat and ‘fit to fight’. It also seeks to make sure the Anzac Class Frigates remains effective until the Hunter Class Frigates are introduced. After the completion of the upgrade programme, the frigate will undergo sea trials and is expected to re-join service with the navy this year. HMAS Arunta (II) was the first Fast Frigate Helicopter (FFH) to receive the upgrade. It rejoined the fleet in June last year after completing a 20-month AMCAP upgrade.
AMCAP is a Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) project. It is an alliance between the Commonwealth’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Saab Australia, BAE Systems and Naval Ship Management Australia. BAE Systems Australia is the prime contractor for the construction and development of the Anzac-class frigate. In September last year, BAE Systems installed a new mast on HMAS Anzac. (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 Feb 20. US ARL explores 3D printing from recycled plastic. The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is looking at new environmentally friendly alternatives with 3D printing from recycled plastic waste. ARL research chemist Dr Nikki Zander believes that the new method could enhance the safety of the troop and lower supply chain dependence. Additionally, it could strengthen the operational readiness of soldiers.
The new initiative to fabricate 3D items from recycled materials is being explored along with the US Marine Corps, reports Thomas Brading of Army.mil.
The ARL notes that all plastics have different industrial strengths and this property makes some plastics too weak to fabricate.
In order to form a stronger composite material, those plastics will have to be strengthened with other materials.
Solid-state shear pulverisation procedure helps in producing more durable filaments for 3D printed parts.
This process involves the milling of materials into a twin-screw extruder. The powder formed in the extruder is melted down into a 3D printing filament. Containers used for the process are equipped with tools facilitating the fabrication of 3D items from recycled materials.
Zander said: “We have the (20ft) container at Marine Corps Base Quantico. We’ve got all the extrusion equipment installed.
“We’re hoping by the end of this calendar year we’ll be able to do a demonstration of the capabilities there.”
Currently, plans to make the process more automated and user-friendly are underway. Active scanning of parts to build an imagery database for soldiers to pull from to quickly print parts is also in progress.
Zander added: “Three companies are working on making the next generation mobile lab. We hope within three years we’ll have a prototype from one of those companies, and it will be more robust have more automation capabilities.
“We’re trying to reduce supply chain dependence by using available materials. We’re interested in looking at plastic packaging materials we could repurpose to use as a feedstock for additive manufacturing.”
Plastic waste such as empty water bottles, milk jugs, and yoghurt containers can be used for this up-cycling process.
This method helps in environmental sustainment and is also highly cost-effective.
Replacement of small parts such as vehicle radio brackets requires less than ten plastic bottles and two hours for fabrication. This also makes soldiers self-reliant in any deserted area.
Zander added: “This supports sustainment and the next-generation combat vehicle. That is because there is a lot of plastic parts that need to be replaced and when you’re in a remote area, and it’s very difficult to get those shipments in.”
“If we’re able to take the waste out of the area, and the burning out of the air and turn it into something useful, that’s win-win.” (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Feb 20. Australian Army to trial new metal 3D printing technology. The Australian Army is set to trial an advanced metal 3D printing technology to boost its supply chain and capability. Currently, the technology is being used by the Royal Australian Navy to maintain patrol vessels. The two-year pilot of SPEE3D technology started in November last year. Australian company SPEE3D and Charles Darwin University (CDU) partnered to establish the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (AMA) to deliver the technology.
SPEE3D’s supersonic 3D printing technology was first unveiled at Formnext 2017. The capability uses metal cold spray technology to print metal parts in minutes. The Australian Department of Defence has funded A$1.5m ($990,000) for capability development. It aims to offer the Australian Defence Force with the ability to make metal parts on-demand in the field or sea at affordable costs.
Australian Army’s 1st Combat Service Support Battalion will participate in the 12-month pilot programme.
Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “The partnership with CDU and SPEE3D demonstrates defence’s continued commitment to embracing advanced technologies that will speed up our processes.
“This will reduce the requirement for our soldiers to deploy with bulky repair parts, redefining how logistics are deployed on the future battlefield.
“It’s a great example of how Australian industry is at the forefront of global innovation, and providing unique solutions to filling capability gaps.”
An educational programme on the basics of the printing technology is currently being developed by CDU and the army. (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Feb 20. IFS, the global enterprise applications company, has today revealed research which shows a large proportion of A&D manufacturing decision-makers are actively considering integrating Industry 4.0 technologies to spearhead their digital transformation efforts. The statistics provide key industry insight into how organisations intend to develop their business operations using 4.0 initiatives—including 3D printing, virtual reality and digital twinning.
The data has been extracted from a recent IFS webinar, which zeroed in on the impact of Industry 4.0 for A&D manufacturers. Over 140 A&D decision-makers were asked to respond to a number of polling questions to gauge views on Industry 4.0 adoption and readiness in the A&D manufacturing sector. Eighty-eight per cent were researching or actively involved in Industry 4.0 projects, while only 12% have not made Industry 4.0 an enterprise-wide priority, choosing to look to invest in specific, focused technology. Interestingly, of the 88% of positive respondents, only 20% of participants are actively looking to leverage 4.0 technology, identifying it as an enterprise-wide priority. The majority – 68% – are still researching how these technology advances can help achieve their digital transformation goals.
While the interest in 4.0 techniques is clear, the A&D market is obviously still at the beginning of the adoption journey and bridging the “chasm” from interest to adoption will ultimately depend on how much early adopters prosper from deploying the latest solutions.
“Early adopters are making significant investments in breakthrough technologies such as 3D printing, virtual reality and digital twinning and are beginning to gain competitive advantage. A&D manufacturers should not wait too long before making investments,” said James Elliott, Principal Business Architect, Aerospace & Defence, IFS. “The emergence of Industry 4.0 technologies implemented on a flexible enterprise software platform will be essential in future-proofing the industry in 2020 and beyond, offering previously inaccessible financial, operational and security benefits for A&D manufacturers.”
25 Feb 20. Defence extends world-first 3D printing trial. Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has confirmed that a cutting-edge 3D printing technology developed in Darwin and initially used by the Royal Australian Navy will now be rolled out and used by the Australian Army.
The partnership between Defence, Melbourne company SPEE3D and Charles Darwin University (CDU) will deliver a 12-month trial of the new metal 3D printing technology for the Australian Army’s 1st Combat Service Support Battalion.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the government’s $1.5m investment in the 3D printing technology will fast-track Army’s supply chain and increase capability.
“The partnership with CDU and SPEE3D demonstrates Defence’s continued commitment to embracing advanced technologies that will speed up our processes,” Minister Price explained.
“This will reduce the requirement for our soldiers to deploy with bulky repair parts, redefining how logistics are deployed on the future battlefield. It’s a great example of how Australian industry is at the forefront of global innovation, and providing unique solutions to filling capability gaps.”
CDU and the Army are also working to develop an educational program covering the fundamentals of design, 3D modelling and printing through to testing and certification.
SPEE3D printers enable the most affordable metal additive manufacturing process in the world. They make metal parts the fastest way possible, leveraging metal cold spray technology to produce industrial quality metal parts in just minutes, rather than days or weeks.
The process harnesses the power of kinetic energy, rather than relying on high-power lasers and expensive gasses. And for the first time it allows the flexibility of metal 3D printing at normal production costs. (Source: Defence Connect)
24 Feb 20. tlmNexus to support UK MoD’s DE&S P-8A Poseidon programme. Technology company tlmNexus has been awarded a contract from the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S). The contract will see the company support the P-8A Poseidon programme as part of the Airworthiness Issue Management System (AIMS) contract.
tlmNexus is involved in the delivery of through-life acquisition and support management solutions with defence-focused software services.
In May last year, the company received a two-year contract from DE&S to deliver AIMS for multiple MoD aircraft fleets.
The latest contract covers the nine latest Poseidon MRA Mk.1 (P-8A) aircraft that will be operated by the British Royal Air Force (RAF).
tlmNexus developed the Resolve software, which is designed for air equipment safety management.
The MoD’s delivery team will benefit from the software as it will allow them to track and manage airworthiness-related issues in compliance with the UK Military Aviation Authority’s engineering regulations.
Acting as a single source of reference, Resolve offers an auditable and transparent view of all actions and tasks associated with important problems.
Some of the benefits provided by the software include easily accessible management information, access to the complete audit trail while managing and reducing or eliminating crucial risks.
The company will also provide training required to use the Resolve software. In July last year, the RAF’s first P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft performed its maiden flight.
P-8A Poseidon is a multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft designed for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), as well as search and rescue.
P-8 aircraft variants are deployed with the Indian Navy, the US Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
24 Feb 20. Australia to invest $1.05bn in RAAF Base Tindal upgrade. The investment will ensure the Australian Defence Force (ADF) can continue to deliver a potent air combat capability from the Northern Territory. Credit: YSSYguy. The Australian Government has announced plans to invest A$1.6bn ($1.05bn) to upgrade the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Tindal.
With the investment, the government aims to make sure that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) can continue to deliver a potent air combat capability from the Northern Territory.
Additionally, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison approved a further A$1.1bn ($728m) works programme at RAAF Base Tindal, which is in addition to the A$495m ($327.8m) investment made in New Air Combat Capability infrastructure.
Morrison said: “Over 300 jobs will be created in the construction phase alone. The investment is part of the A$8bn ($5.298bn) we are spending over the coming decade on defence facilities in the top end, as part of the defence white paper and under our Developing Northern Australia initiatives.
“As part of these upgrades, RAAF Base Tindal will be able to deliver enhanced air-to-air refuelling and air support capabilities, ensuring we can support critical ADF operations, everything from air combat missions through to responding to natural disasters both at home and throughout our region.”
For these redevelopment projects, an investment of A$737m ($488m) will be made to upgrade the airfield. Upgrades include the extension of the runway and construction of a new air movement terminal, parking apron and extra fuel storage facilities.
Additionally, A$437m ($289m) of investment will provide infrastructure upgrades such as engineering services, along with 108 new units for Australian Defence Force personnel. Construction is subject to approval from the parliament and is expected to start from the middle of this year, with completion expected by the end of 2027. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
24 Feb 20. US military leaders raise supply chain vulnerability concerns. Speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), US Army, Navy and Air Force leaders said that supply chain vulnerabilities could present a problem for the US Armed Forces.
Speaking last Friday, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly said: “It’s not so much the top-tier suppliers, but it’s the second- and third-tier suppliers that have a lot of vulnerabilities that we’ve discovered.”
He went on to explain that providing adequate information technology security can be an expensive investment for smaller suppliers to make. Modly added that the US military needs to work more closely with contractors to develop a “better way to protect information” in the face of adversaries trying to exploit vulnerabilities in systems to erode the US “competitive advantage”.
Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy said that gaps in US industrial capability were also creating vulnerabilities, citing the production of semiconductors as an area concern.
Almost all modern systems feature some degree of computational power, meaning future production of systems could potentially possibly be compromised by the semiconductor supply chain.
McCarthy said: “We really don’t make those [semiconductors] in America anymore, and they’re in everything,”
McCarthy explained that the Department of Defence (DoD) needs to protect its own as well as other markets and assure the DoD knows where components are made and who by.
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett added that the US Air Force is experiencing similar problems with the supply chain to the Navy and Army.
The concerns around supply chain were raised during a Q&A at CSIS on the challenges of developing and deploying hypersonic weapons, which McCarthy said was a growing national security threat to the US.
McCarthy said that the US will need to develop a low-Earth orbit satellite system alongside a joint command and control system to mitigate the threats the weapons pose to the US.
The Secretaries of the US Armed Forces are understood to have regular meeting to discuss the financing and development of US hypersonic capabilities, including sharing test data to streamline developments.
McCarthy said: “How they’re [hypersonic systems] used and employed by the services will be very different because the means are different,” but he added that despite this there should be similarities between the three services approaches to make development cheaper.
Barrett echoed this saying: “If we did it separately, there would be duplications and inefficiencies that we couldn’t afford,” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
24 Feb 20. TAE Aerospace completes first F135 engine turbine repair outside US. Ipswich-based TAE Aerospace has successfully completed the repair of its first Pratt & Whitney F135 engine fan module for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, which marks the first time depot maintenance has been completed on an F135 engine module outside of the US. The Australian company was first assigned the Asia-Pacific region’s F135 maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) depot responsibility in 2015.
Over the last five years, TAE Aerospace has been working closely with Pratt & Whitney, the F-35 Joint Program Office in the US, and the Australian government through the Joint Strike Fighter Division in Canberra to develop a world-class MRO&U facility, technical workforce and test facility that has the capacity and capability to sustain the F135 engine for the Royal Australian Air Force and other F-35 program participants in the region.
O Sung Kwon, vice president, Pratt & Whitney military engines sustainment operations, welcomed the milestone achievement, stating, “We congratulate TAE Aerospace for demonstrating the capability to repair and overhaul the F135 fan module.
“This represents a significant sustainment milestone for the F135 program and is a testament to the hard work of the joint government and industry team that made it happen. With a worldwide fleet of over 600 F135 engines that is expanding rapidly, we remain focused on standing up an effective global sustainment network that will support the F135 throughout its life cycle,” Sung Kwon added.
Activity over the last 12 months has ramped up significantly at TAE Aerospace, with training commencing in mid-2019 and completion of a new 15,000 square metre Turbine Engine Maintenance Facility (TEMF) in December 2019.
The new state-of-the-art facility has been purpose-built for the F135 and the other engines – F404, F414 and AGT1500 – that TAE maintains today.
The completion of the first F135 fan module signifies that TAE Aerospace is one step closer to achieving initial depot capability and regularly delivering modules to the F-35 Global Support Solution (GSS).
Andrew Sanderson, TAE Aerospace CEO, said, “Completing the fan module is a great milestone and the start of a significant capability here in the Asia-Pacific region. We’re looking forward to working with Pratt & Whitney as part of the GSS to support the F135 engine for the Asia-Pacific’s regional F-35 fleets, including those flown by Australia, South Korea, Japan and the US forces within the region.”
Pratt & Whitney’s combat-proven F135 – which powers all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II – is the world’s most advanced fighter engine, delivering more than 40,000 pounds of thrust and unmatched advances in safety, performance and reliability.
The F135 features fifth-generation power and stealth capabilities as well as advanced prognostics and health management systems – all of which provide the warfighter with a technological advantage.
“The next step is completing qualification on the F135 power module in late 2020 and getting into full production at our new facility,” Sanderson added.
TAE Aerospace is a privately-owned aerospace company headquartered in Australia. It has operations throughout Asia-Pacific and North America and a global customer base.
The company focuses on creating value for its customers in the commercial aviation and Defence markets through quality products and services in turbine engine and component MRO, aerospace engineering and advanced manufacturing. (Source: Defence Connect)
21 Feb 20. TRANSCOM Wants To Keep 23 Tankers DoD Cut In 2021. Retiring the KC-135s and KC-10s before the new KC-46 tanker comes on line will have “significant impacts” on TRANSCOM’s ability to fulfill its wartime mission, says Gen. Stephen Lyons.
Gen. Stephen Lyons, head of Transportation Command, wants Congress to reverse the Air Force’s decision to retire 10 KC-10 tanks and 13 KC-135s in 2021, and to scrap planned further reductions in 2022.
“Aerial refueling is USTRANSCOM’s number one unfunded priority,” Lyons said in a Feb. 20 letter sent to Capitol Hill.
The planned cuts, prior to the projected availability of Boeing’s troubled KC-46 tanker, will “create a capacity bathtub with significant impacts to Combatant Command daily competition and wartime missions, and negatively impact senior leader decision space for mobilization when confronted with a crisis,” Lyons explained.
The Air Force in mid-December lifted the three-month-long ban on KC-36 cargo and personnel flights, piqued by the discovery that cargo restraints came open of their own accord during test flights. That problem came after years of delays and large cost overruns on what was supposed to be a low-risk program. There also has been an issue with the aircraft’s camera that remains unresolved.
Nonetheless, the Air Force is moving full speed ahead, spending $3.1bn in 2021, with the current plan to introduce the plane into the fleet by 2023.
The Air Force’s 2021 budget actually would retire 16 KC-135s, six more than Lyons is trying to save. Besides the two tankers, the budget also would retire 24 C-130Hs, which will be replaced by 19 C-130Js in 2021. The air mobility fleet reductions are part of the service’s overall strategy of reducing the number of legacy aircraft that costs so much just to keep them in the sky, in order to invest in new capability.
Restoring the 25 tanker aircraft to the fleet, Lyons argues, will cost only $110m: $40m for the KC-135s and $70m for the KC-10s. “For FY22 and beyond, any further AR aircraft reductions would be on a ‘year- by-year review,’ based on KC-46 progress,” he asserts.
The second big unfunded priority for TRANSCOM is funding to improving the lagging maintenance of the Navy’s Surge Sealift Fleet. Lyons says there is an $85.1m shortage that prevents four vessels from being certified for action. That money, he says, will allow the needed five-year dry docking for those four ships — the Shughart, Yano, Gordon and Kocak — as well as regular maintenance and spare parts for all 15 Military Sealift Command operated sealift ships.
As Paul has reported, the Navy has had some trouble in keeping tabs on the readiness of its sealift fleet, with discrepancies arising between Military Sealift Command and the Marine Administration about what exactly the status is.
Further, modernization of the sealift fleet is also a looming problem, especially in the current flat budgetary environment where the Navy is focused on future capabilities: the expensive Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, a new class of FFG(X) frigates, and a new class of Large Surface Combatant ships. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
21 Feb 20. RAF Mildenhall unveils new leak detection cup for aircraft. Royal Air Force (RAF) Mildenhall in the UK has unveiled a new device called the Pressurized Leak Detection Cup that can minimise the time needed to detect leaks within aircraft fuel tanks. The Pressurized Leak Detection Cup was created by 100th MXS aircraft fuels systems craftsman Patrick Leach with the help of the aircraft structural maintenance flight.
Manufactured using 3D printers, the new detection cup is being used on the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, a military aerial refuelling aircraft for the US Air Force (USAF).
Leach said: “My innovation is a 3D printed cup which we can pressurise when pressed up against the surface of the aircraft. This allows air to travel through any open channels on the surface and exit on the inside of the tank. We can then apply soapy water to the inside so we can see where the leak is coming through.
“We’re also working on pushing it out for other aircraft and getting the technical orders changed to actually implement it airforce-wide.”
Using the cup, the time needed to detect leaks can be reduced by 75%. It improves the wing’s ability to quickly deliver mission-ready aircraft that can provide aerial refuelling.
Additionally, the detection cup minimises downtime for leak repair and allows maintenance personnel to accomplish other tasks.
100th MXS self-assessment programme and continuous process improvement manager Mia Tobitt said: “It costs under $15 in materials to produce and will save approximately $1.5m per year at RAF Mildenhall.
“Being 3D printed allows us the option to produce different forms of the cup so that it can be used for multiple applications.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
About Hobson Industries
Hobson Industries is a private company established in 1987 by Peter Hobson, after serving as a Charge Chief Weapons Engineering Artificer in the Royal Navy. Hobson Industries is an innovative and highly technical engineering business operating to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System which is complimented with our ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System.
Across the markets we serve in, the UK and globally, we establish close relationships with the people that trust and depend on us. We specialise in the through life support management and development of Land Rover heritage military and civilian platforms – in effect, the Land Rover need never die!
Hobson Industries offer four core services that we specialise in:
We offer Land Rover vehicle builds to original specification or complete with modifications and upgrades at the customers request. All work is done in house using our bountiful facilities. In addition to vehicle refurbishment, reconditioning and homologation across all Land Rover models.
Powertrain and Transmission Units:
We offer new and reconditioned units, perfect for your Land Rover. All built using Land Rover tolerances and specifications. All for sale on our website. Additionally, we offer reconditioning services to your own units.
With over 16,000 part lines in stock, and the Asset Management programme pioneered by the company, we are able to provide a cost effective range of parts which may no longer be available. Additionally, we are offering Hobson Original branded parts to drawings for obsolete parts to help provide Land Rover owners the parts to keep them on the road. Our parts strategy ensures that all re-cycled, asset managed and reconditioned parts and units meet original equipment standards and specifications to ensure your safety while driving on or off road.
Amour – Design and Fabrication and Blast Protection
We offer armouring in steel, composite and ceramic of new and refurbished vehicles and fleets.