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26 Jul 17. UDRI to develop non-metallic materials for use on USAF vehicles. The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) has secured a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to develop non-metallic materials for use on the airforce’s air, space and ground vehicles. UDRI researchers will create and optimise non-metallic materials for the maintenance, repair and production of USAF equipment under the $43m deal. The seven-year contract was awarded with an initial $40,000 task order, and will support the Air Force Research Laboratory’s systems support division. UDRI aerospace materials sustainment group leader Dan McCray said: “Our goal is to provide research, development and expertise in non-metallic materials, processes and new technologies designed to improve systems performance and capability, while reducing risk, cost and environmental impact.
“We work closely with AFRL engineers to identify, evaluate and even develop new materials and application processes for legacy and future aircraft.
“We also provide assistance in transitioning those new technologies into practical application.”
The UDRI researchers have been developing adhesives, sealants, elastomers, textiles, composites and other materials used on USAF vehicles as part of a series of contracts.
Non-metallic materials such as sealants and elastomers can be used in a variety of applications, including fluid barriers, gap fillers, vibration suppression and other situations that require non-structural materials.
McCray added: “Non-metallic materials are incorporated into an aircraft during manufacture under very controlled conditions, meaning that the temperature, humidity and other ambient conditions in the factory are ideal for the processes.
“But when repairs are needed to aircraft, they’re made ‘in the field’ at one of the Air Force bases, where environmental conditions for repair are not as easily controlled, so we look for the best materials to use and determine the optimal processes needed for good repairs in the environment in which they are made.”
Researchers will also work on ways to decrease the weight of aircraft as part of the arrangement. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
26 Jul 17. Chinese military sets up hi-tech weapons research agency modelled on US body. China’s military has set up a new department modelled on the Pentagon’s hi-tech research agency to develop state-of-the-art weapons such as stealth aircraft and electromagnetic cannons.
The Scientific Research Steering Committee was set up early this year, according to a documentary aired on state broadcaster CCTV that revealed the new department for the first time.
The committee will fall directly under the Central Military Commission (CMC), which is chaired by President Xi Jinping.
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Xi has been driving an unprecedented military overhaul since he took the helm in 2012, with the ambition of transforming the People’s Liberation Army into a nimble and modern fighting force.
The two most recent episodes of the 10-part series Carrying Reform Through to the End, which were broadcast on Sunday and Monday, explained the revamp and the new committee.
The broadcast suggested that the new agency was similar to the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), set up in 1957 by the Pentagon to look after breakthrough technologies to do with national security.
“As everyone knows, the internet, global positioning systems, stealth fighters, electromagnetic guns, laser weapons as well as other advanced technologies – most are DARPA-related,” the voice-over said. “We should make greater efforts to promote scientific technology in our army if we want to win the competitive advantage.”
State media reported that the J-20, China’s first stealth fighter, went into service with the PLA Air Force in March.