GE unveiled its unnamed 3D metal printer at the formnext manufacturing trade show in Germany. The machine can print aircraft parts up to 39 inches across directly from a computer file.
Virgin Orbit has received its first Defense Department launch contract. The contract for the Space Test Program was awarded in partnership with the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental.
The long-delayed Space-Based Infrared System Follow-On program appears ready to move forward as the Air Force reportedly sees an urgent need for a satellite constellation to detect missiles. The new system would be deployed in 2029.
The $700 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act is on its way to President Donald Trump's desk after the Senate passed it on a voice vote Thursday. However, Congress still needs to deal with spending caps mandated by law, which could limit the budget to $549 billion.
Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David Melcher highlights the need for STEM-based training for US students and workers interested in aerospace. "Our industry has great potential to create new high-skill, high-wage jobs, but it takes the right kind of people to create the innovations and ideas that keep our industry vibrant long into the future," he said. Melcher's comments on Wednesday came during a two-day summit sponsored by Aerospace Industries Association at Harris Corp. headquarters in Palm Bay, Fla.
The Air Force is eager to accelerate the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent as Boeing and Northrop Grumman develop the replacement to the Minuteman III. "How do we get this capability earlier," said Gen. David Goldfein, noting that "if you can actually get it faster, you can get it cheaper sometimes."
Connecticut-based Electric Boat is facing a shortage of qualified workers to meet demand from the US military. Aerospace Industries Association data list Connecticut among top states for defense and aerospace jobs.
The US and UAE are working toward closer defense ties that will open the door for collaboration with US defense firms. The US is encouraging the UAE to develop its own version of the Defense Department's Defense Technology Security Administration.