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Biden’s Defense nominee embraces view of space as a domain of war

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Austin: “If confirmed, I will ensure the space domain is carefully considered across the range of upcoming strategic reviews.”

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for defense secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers Jan. 19 that China is the United States’ “most concerning competitor” and in written testimony identified space as a growing national security concern.

“If confirmed, I will ensure the space domain is carefully considered across the range of upcoming strategic reviews,” Austin said in a statement submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

The SASC held a nearly four-hour confirmation hearing for Austin a day before Biden’s inauguration. He would be the nation’s first African-American secretary of defense. To get confirmed, Congress has to approve a waiver because Austin has not been retired from the military for seven years as the law requires. While some lawmakers said they oppose providing such a waiver, Austin is expected to be confirmed. 

In prepared testimony, Austin called space “an arena of great power competition” and endorsed the prevailing thinking in the national security space community that U.S. systems have to be more resilient and survivable against anti-satellite weapons.

“Chinese and Russian space activities present serious and growing threats to U.S. national security interests,” Austin stated. “While Russia is a key adversary, China is the pacing threat.”

Defense secretary nominee Lloyd Austin. Credit: SASC

Austin did not weigh in on whether it was a good idea to establish the U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command — both strongly championed by the Trump administration. He said a military space reorganization had been advocated for years by independent commissions, lawmakers and multiple administrations.

“If confirmed, I will assess the current structure to ensure the defense space enterprise is postured to advance our national security objectives most effectively,” Austin testified. 

He noted that the DoD space enterprise is “still not well integrated with other services and terrestrial commands, and there are several other challenges that will need to be addressed.”

More broadly, given the importance of space in as an engine of economic competitiveness, he said “it is essential to continue developing best practices, standards and international norms of behavior in space.”

Austin warned that commercial activities in space are a concern to the military because of the congestion and the possibility of collisions in orbit.

He noted that thousands of new satellites will be sent to orbit in the coming decade, most privately owned and operated. This creates a risk to the United States “in the sense that the government needs to ensure that they do not collide with expensive and exquisitely capable government assets.”

None of the senators during the hearing asked Austin any questions on space policy. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) brought up the recent decision by the Trump administration to move the headquarters of U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama. Heinrich represents one of the locations — Kirtland Air Force Base — that competed to host Space Command. 

Heinrich criticized the selection process and asked Austin to commit to “take a close look” at how the decision was made. Austin said he would do so. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pressed Austin on his ties to defense contractor Raytheon, where he served on the board of directors. Austin said he will recuse himself from all Pentagon business involving Raytheon for the entire time he’s in office. “I’m sensitive to the appearance concerns you raise,” he told Warren.

Austin said the coronavirus pandemic currently is the nation’s greatest challenge and he would support a greater Defense Department role in the response to the crisis.

Austin’s hearing was the last one chaired by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) before control of the Senate shifts to Democrats. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) will chair the SASC in the new Congress.

“That transition will take place very peacefully,” Inhofe said to chuckles in the room.

Source: https://spacenews.com/bidens-defense-nominee-embraces-view-of-space-as-a-domain-of-war/

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Aeroforma expands sheetmetal aerospace parts production

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The addition of a new hydroform deep draw press from Quintus Technologies brings increased capacity, flexibility, and production efficiencies to aerospace parts manufacturer Aeroforma Technologies.

Installed in the Aeroforma Technologies facility in Cheltenham, the Quintus model QFM 1.1-800 Deep Draw Press uses hydraulic pressure up to 11,600 psi to form parts in a variety of shapes, thicknesses, and tough materials, achieving tight tolerances with minimal thinning.

Proprietary flexible forming technology enables the press to perform four forming operations in a single machine. In addition to block tool forming, cavity tool forming, and expansion forming, the very versatile Quintus press is also equipped with a movable punch forming system for deep drawing of intricate shapes.

The press is a good fit for Aeroforma Technologies, which over several decades has earned an enviable reputation as a supplier of high-quality fabricated metal components to the aerospace industry. Installation of the QFM 1.1-800 represents Aeroforma Technologies’ commitment to benefit its customers by bringing core processes under one roof to reduce lead times, streamline logistics, and increase competitiveness.

“Our strategy of providing a vertically integrated sourcing solution—from raw material procurement through to forming, welding, surface treating, and assembly—is one which our customer base is finding increasingly attractive,” said Antoni Kwiatkowski, group managing director, Aeroforma Technologies. “Key to that strategy is ensuring state-of-the-art machinery along with extensive industry knowledge and experience. With its class-leading hydroform envelope and depth of draw, the Quintus press helps ensure that we remain ahead of the pack.”

The Quintus Flexform process utilises a combination of a single rigid tool half, operating in conjunction with a flexible rubber diaphragm subjected to high hydraulic pressure, to form sheetmetal parts with great accuracy and repeatability. This process produces high-quality parts, in complex shapes and tough alloys, and at tight tolerances. It also generates significant tool and process cost savings, especially of great value where intricately shaped components are required in low to moderate volumes.

The QFM 1.1-800 is equipped with two forming stations, one of which is the deep draw, offering a maximum blank diameter of 43.1 inches (1095 mm) and maximum draw depth of 10 inches (254 mm). The second forming station is tailor made to accommodate block tool, cavity tool, and expansion tool forming.

“Our Flexform technology is ideal for aerospace engine components, including deep drawn parts, in high-strength, heat-resistant materials,” said Jan Söderström, CEO of Quintus Technologies.

www.quintustechnologies.com

The post Aeroforma expands sheetmetal aerospace parts production appeared first on Aerospace Manufacturing.

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/aeroforma-expands-sheetmetal-aerospace-parts-production/

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Meggitt signs another 737 MAX contract

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Meggitt has signed a long-term, £multi-million agreement with Boeing for the supply of cockpit indicators on the 737 MAX. The contract covers a suite of cockpit indicators across all versions of the aircraft.

This contract expands Meggitt content on the 737 MAX programme, which already includes the engine and APU fire detection & suppression systems, electrical power conversion equipment, and elastomeric seals. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in Q2 2022.

Meggitt chief executive, Tony Wood, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Boeing at this important time as the 737 MAX returns to service and the wider aviation industry starts to look through the challenges of the last year towards a recovering outlook for air traffic globally.”

www.meggitt.com

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thyssenkrupp Aerospace seals RUAG materials order

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thyssenkrupp Aerospace has announced it will supply the technology group RUAG International with material for projects involving OEMs such as Airbus, Boeing and SAAB starting in 2021.

The agreement covers the procurement and delivery of aluminium, titanium, plastics and steel, just-in-time. The first orders have already been placed with thyssenkrupp Aerospace.

For some of their current projects, RUAG Aerostructures was looking for a partner who could plan material requirements with pinpoint accuracy, while also handling increased material requirements at short notice. These special requirements cover projects, such as the payload mounts for additional fuel tanks for the SAAB JAS 39 Gripen and ailerons for Boeing.

“We look forward to supporting RUAG Aerostructures,” said Ludwig Greiner, key account manager at thyssenkrupp Aerospace Germany. “With our materials expertise and supply chain competence, we can plan for the long term but also respond to rush orders. We deliver the material at the right time, ensuring that our customers can focus on their core business.”

Marco Geering, general manager at RUAG Aerostructures, added: “In our business, reliability and flexibility are particularly important. With thyssenkrupp Aerospace we have a competent partner at our side.”

www.thyssenkrupp-aerospace.com

 

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We Need to Build a Cloud for the Next Decade: Satya Nadella

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As the world enters the second wave of digital transformation, we need to foundationally transform how the cloud can drive the next level of economic growth, Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Satya Nadella said.

Nadella was speaking at the Microsoft Ignite 2021, the annual flagship event virtually attended by more than 100,000 global participants, including IT decision-makers, developers, data professionals, security professionals and other technology enthusiasts.

“The true test of technology has always been whether organizations can improve their time to value, increase agility, and reduce costs…but as the world recovers, it will require much more from technology and the cloud, in particular, to help address our most pressing challenges,” Nadella said.

Five key attributes will drive the next-generation of innovation in the cloud, Nadella said. “These are ubiquitous and decentralized computing, sovereign data and ambient intelligence, empowered creators and communities, expanded economic opportunity for the global workforce, and trust by design,” he said.

As businesses have accelerated their digital journeys over the past year, the demand for technology has significantly picked up to enable various use-cases like telehealth, remote manufacturing, and new ways of working from home. Microsoft believes the cloud has been the foundation to enable all of these.

Microsoft announced ‘Microsoft Mesh’, a new mixed reality platform built on, which enables geographically distributed teams to interact holographically with each other.

“With mixed reality technology, the digital and physical worlds have come together,” Nadella said.

“This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning,” said Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman. “You can actually feel like you are in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you’re not physically together.”

Microsoft also announced a new semantic search capability in Azure Cognitive Search, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered cloud search service for mobile and web app development. This capability enables developers to deliver results based on user intent as opposed to a keyword-based search, which is the industry norm. Semantic search leverages some of the most advanced natural language models to improve the relevance and ranking of search results.

The post We Need to Build a Cloud for the Next Decade: Satya Nadella appeared first on ELE Times.

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