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Air Force Sustainable Manufacturing Success
The U.S. Air Force, always known for “pushing the envelope” with the hardware and technology it puts in the sky, also is actively seeking a competitive advantage with the way aircraft and weapons systems are developed and manufactured. Bringing new assets to the flight line faster and at lower cost not only provides tactical and strategic benefits on the world’s battlefields, but in Congressional budget hearings as well.
Two of the methods it employs in this quest are the Air Force Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program and the National Aerospace Leadership Initiative (NALI). The ManTech program is studying methods with the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) to accelerate adoption of a sustainable manufacturing philosophy within the defense aerospace industry to ensure that it is on the leading edge of addressing social, resource conservation, and environmental stewardship challenges. ManTech is initially focusing on improving the machining of metallic component parts for aerospace structures and engines. NALI was created to respond to the critical needs of the U.S. aerospace manufacturing supply chain so that it maintains its leadership in advanced propulsion and power systems, as well as remains innovative in the competitive domestic aerospace manufacturing supply structure, in order to meet the needs of the Department of Defense (DOD).
Through ManTech and the NALI, the Air Force has identified the ultra high-speed toolpath engine VoluMill™ as one sustainable solution DOD suppliers can use to fabricate weapon systems with reduced resource consumption while preserving performance requirements.
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