25 Jan 13. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. opened the door today on a new era of space programs by celebrating the completion of an advanced satellite manufacturing center that more than doubles current spacecraft production capability. The 90,000-square-foot expansion is designed to accommodate larger and more sophisticated satellites and simultaneous spacecraft builds to fulfill new NASA and the Department of Defense contracts for space-related assets. The $75m capitalinvestment includes expansion and improvements underway since 2005 at Ball’s Fisher Integration Facility, 1600 Commerce Street, Boulder, Colo., and comes on the heels of the opening of expanded facilities at the company’s manufacturing center in Westminster, Colo., in 2011. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)
23 Jan 13. IDF Ground Forces establish advanced simulation laboratory. The Ground Forces Command of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has established a new, advanced laboratory to better support training requirements of its soldiers. Equipped with advanced simulators, the laboratory is primarily designed to enable the companies to practice complex battle scenarios to enhance their mission readiness without requiring a live-fire exercise. Manufactured by the Military Research Department, the simulators are capable of creating a broad spectrum of real-time operational scenarios by precisely replicating enemy figures, weapons and territory during training sorties. The laboratory has already hosted a joint training programme for the soldiers from the Givati Brigade’s Anti-Tank Company and Military Research and Light Arms Departments officials in early January 2013. Training featured six scenarios every day, each lasting for an average of 40 minutes, until all the targets were destroyed and planned objectives were achieved. Difficulty level was increased for each scenario, and the simulation was broadcast on a television screen from every angle in an effort to help participants perform better in the battlefield. (Source: army-technology.com)
23 Jan 13. GKN Aerospace has become a tier one member of the UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). The company joins other major UK-based aerospace manufacturers, including Airbus and Rolls-Royce, as a high level member of the centre – which has been founded in direct response to the UK government’s national manufacturing strategy.
The goal of the MTC is “to prove innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile environment, in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions.”
As one of the leading producers of complex, exotic metal and composite structures for the aerospace sector globally, GKN Aerospace views the MTC as a valuable means of strengthening and informing its research into novel automated assembly technologies.
Rich Oldfield, Director of Technology, GKN Aerospace comments: “The MTC will function as a valuable focal point for UK industry as we explore new automation techniques and technologies. It will enable members to draw on expertise from across many UK manufacturing sectors and from academia.”
14 Jan 13. The Indian air force operates a large number of Russian-built helicopters. Plans to produce helicopters in India and China indicate a new direction for Russian Helicopters as the state-owned manufacturer makes bigger strides to take on its Western rivals. The consortium, 100% owned by Oboronprom, Russia’s aerospace holding company, wants to open an assembly line for helicopters in India. The new facility would be a critical component in the push to win the Indian armed forces’ requirement for 197 light multirole helicopters—a program in which the coaxial Kamov Ka-226 is competing. It would also provide a useful advantage as India’s civil helicopter market begins to take shape. Russian Helicopters signed an agreement on Dec. 26 with Elcom Systems Private Ltd., part of the Indian investment conglomerate SUN Group, to set up a new facility to buil