6 digital technologies that are reshaping the Defense sector

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An effective digital strategy is important for long-term success in the defense sector. Digital technology has evolved from being a source of marginal gain to becoming the foundation for rapid transformation. The defense sector like the other industries is being reshaped primarily by six digital technologies. Governments have placed a very high priority on the investments being made in these technologies.

Let’s take a look at the technologies that are redefining the defense industry:


1. Additive Manufacturing:

Additive manufacturing involves 3D printing that enables decentralized production and also improves the production considerably. Key elements of additive manufacturing are:

Prototyping
Mass production

Here is how AM helped a European country’s defense capabilities. The growth of additive manufacturing helped with cost reduction on tools and parts production, enhancements of design, lesser time to reach the end-user as well as increased competitiveness in the technical and commercial side among others.


2. Augmented Reality:

Augmented reality helps in perceiving the information that is displayed within the soldier’s visual field thus reducing the need for training and support.

Key benefits of AR in defense:

Assistance from remote experts
Information display
Quality analysis

The US army’s R&D team worked on tactical augmented reality (TAR) that looks like night-vision goggles (NVG) but offers much more than that. It can show the exact location of an enemy as well as the position of the allied and enemy forces. It is mounted to the helmet in the same way as goggles and can work both in the day and night. The TAR replaces the conventional handheld GPS device and goggles.


3. Big Data and Analytics:

Big data and analytics helps in the evaluation and analysis of data from several sources and effectively enables real-time decision making and optimization.


Data can be further applied to:

Descriptive and predictive analytics
Real-time monitoring
Using AI to reduce human dependency  

With the use of artificial intelligence with learning capability, the Indian defense sector is rapidly being digitally transformed. The strategic and tactical intelligence processing has now moved out from typical command centers to an autonomous and augmented military intelligence network.


4. Simulation:

In the defense sector there are three types of simulation; live, virtual and constructive. Simulations can range from testing to a completely computer-generated representation of how a system is likely to react to various inputs.

Key applications:

Digital twins
Simulation-based design
Simulation-based production

The French army evolved its operational requirements using simulations:

1. For preparing the forces
2. For supporting the operations
3. For preparing for the future


5. Computerized Maintenance System:

A computerized maintenance system is a collaborative approach in the management of maintenance repair and overhaul. This helps with longer asset life and assists in reducing operational expenses.

The US makes use of the computerized maintenance system which protects the US department of defense and also the federal and commercial assets located there. Some of the benefits from their maintenance software management are radar tracking gear, aerospace hardware in the Air Force base, and the ground support equipment.


6. Repair Technology:

Repair technology is an essential requirement to ensure that the aircraft is maintained keeping in mind the airworthiness to ensure the safety of the passengers during flight as well as the cargo.

Additive manufacturing offers a comprehensive repair technology for the military aircraft components. The tests for these were carried by the Australian Air Force and the Defense Aviation Safety Authority.

As digital adoption is evolving from experimenting with new technologies to powering the defense sector, company leaders are looking forward to results due to their huge investment in this. Like the other manufacturing industries, the hold of digital technologies in the defense sector is to enhance the operations and increase revenue. These are the two main components that are affecting the ROI.

AXISCADES is recognized as the preferred partner to the global defense industry, addressing the strategic needs across air, ground and marine systems. Engineers designing Defense solutions face ever- increasing challenges of implementing complex systems while ensuring stringent product quality, security standards, and certification criteria.


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