Featured The NCC launches first U.K. composites technology forum dedicated to defense

Published on November 13th, 2021 📆 | 2845 Views ⚑


The NCC launches first U.K. composites technology forum dedicated to defense

Photo Credit: The NCC

The National Composites Centre (NCC, Bristol, U.K.) launched the Composites Technology Forum for UK Defence, bringing together large industry primes, academia and SMEs to share knowledge, expertise and opportunities for future collaboration.

The kick-off meeting for the forum was hosted at the NCC’s facility in Bristol on Nov. 10, supported by the Ministry of Defence executive agencies — the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and the Submarine Delivery Agency — as well as large industry primes including BAE Systems (Farnborough, U.K.), Airbus Defence and Space (Taufkirchen, Germany), Babcock International (London, U.K.), Lockheed Martin (London), Thales (Paris France), MBDA (Stevenage, U.K.), QinetiQ (Farnborough) and Rolls Royce (Manchester, U.K.). The forum will discuss the next steps in composites technology development for the defense sector. It has a specific vision to foster the transfer of novel composites technology between stakeholders from each of the land, sea and air operational domains, across which the NCC has already identified common materials and manufacturing challenges.

The NCC, one of the seven centers of the U.K.’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult which focuses on accelerating the adoption of high-value, sustainable engineering solutions in composites, is leading the forum to provide a collaborative space for the participating OEMs to deliver materials and manufacturing challenges from their corporate strategies and future major programs to the U.K. supply chain. In response, the NCC will support and develop the U.K. supply community responses to these challenges, bringing forward innovative composite technologies.

“Composites are used in all areas of modern society to make things lighter, stronger, smarter, more durable and more sustainable,” says Richard Oldfield, chief executive for the NCC. “High-performance vehicles including modern fighter jets are 80% made from composite materials, which equates to 40% of the total weight for the jet. This proves just how effective composites are. However, we know that composite technologies still have a lot more to offer. This new forum will facilitate technical exchange between leading organizations in the industry to drive innovation and help position the U.K. as the global epicenter for composites in the defense sector.”

The first forum meeting will introduce the forum steering board while also outlining a number of priority research and technology themes that will be explored, including composites for increased durability; resistance to environmental exposure; survival in high-service temperatures; and also novel technology for reducing the costs of composites in defense applications.

For more information about the Composites Technology Forum for UK Defence, to express an interest to be involved with future forum sessions or to hear more about the NCC’s work in defense across the U.K., please contact the team at [email protected]

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