“Over recent decades, threats have become increasingly asymmetrical, both in form and occurrence. For nations across the world, this challenging environment is increasing the need for versatile aerospace and defense technology that can support their efforts in efficiently building security, supporting economic growth, and providing stability to their citizens, core industries and institutions,” according to Rachel Braun, Vice President, Paramount Group.

Braun is a speaker at the marcus evans Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing & R&D Summit 2018, in California, March 1-2.

What aerospace and defense technology is needed today?

Ongoing security challenges in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, for example, have highlighted a growing need for state-of-the-art aerospace systems and aircraft that can perform multiple mission-types with greater reliability and technological efficiency in challenging environments. This presents two questions: How do we better equip governments with the aerospace capabilities needed to tackle such threats when the world is changing so rapidly? How do we ensure that today’s R&D will meet the challenges of tomorrow which we cannot yet predict?

R&D and engineering programs conducted by the aerospace sector have traditionally orientated towards large national defense procurement programs. The critical importance of such projects cannot be overstated, but the reality is that technology is advancing so fast that a 20-year development cycle for an aircraft essentially guarantees it will be out of date by the time it first flies. The F-35 jet program, which is costing more than USD 406 billion, started in 1992 and will only commence full production in 2018. As a consequence, it will fail to meet the requirements of reactive innovation, efficiency and quick turnaround times that are needed to help governments keep pace with the more nuanced and evolving security threats that are becoming more prevalent.

What would shorten R&D time?

There is a simple answer to this paradoxical question. Increasing the role for nimble and more innovative aerospace and defense companies in the development and supply of defense capabilities. Nimble and customer-focused companies in the aerospace sector are inherently built upon the foundations of rapid innovation. They are often established to deliver, or have grown in response to, a specific requirement or niche, enabling them to produce innovative technologies far more rapidly than larger organizations that have to manage multiple technology programs on an often epic scale.

But smaller does not necessarily mean nimble. It is the increasing availability and uptake of digital design, simulation and manufacturing processes that allows smaller, more innovative suppliers, from anywhere in the world to carve out a niche in the market.

At Paramount Group, we eradicate the inefficient sub-supply chains and place emphasis on close-coupling the engineering and manufacturing processes; primarily by adopting ground-breaking approaches to prototyping and manufacturing through advanced Kinematics, CFD analysis, and advanced 3D printing. This philosophy, which we adopted in the creation of our new Mwari aircraft, a militarized multipurpose variant of our AHRLAC aircraft, allows for a quicker turnaround time from design to factory floor and an ability to make rapid adjustments to specifications. We can constantly modify aircrafts to keep pace with external technological and security advancements - without having to re-engineer a complex manufacturing system or rebuild a supply chain. It is an agile manufacturing approach that allows us to stay current—and ahead—of changing threat environments.

What business opportunities could this approach open up for manufacturers?

One of the interesting by-products of this growth of digitized R&D and manufacturing is that new centers of engineering excellence can develop rapidly around the world. We are proudly African, and we believe this gives us a unique insight into the defense challenges facing some of the most unpredictable regions of the world. Traditionally, being based in Africa would have been a hindrance in terms of developing the major R&D or manufacturing facilities. With bespoke digital design and manufacturing capabilities it is possible for us to design and manufacture our products anywhere in the world. It is no longer just about what we are building, but about how we are building it.

This type of engineering excellence is key to creating equipment that is built for purpose and equipping militaries with advanced equipment designed to meet today’s threats. However, for this to happen, we must see development in two ways. Firstly, robust global partnerships between the industry’s traditional leaders and smaller firms. Secondly, we must acknowledge that the challenge to work differently and more flexibly does not rest solely on the shoulders of our industry, as governments must also recognize that the changing security landscape, coupled with long-term pressure on budgets, requires a new approach to procurement and purchasing. Governments need to shift away from a sole reliance on the traditional “one-size-fits-all” procurement programs to an outlook that acknowledges the need for purpose-built equipment to meet well-defined, real-time needs, and this may come from new niche entrants—domestically and internationally—rather than traditional OEMs. The world is changing, and so too must approaches to design and engineering.

More Information

Learn, explore and unleash your inner chef.

Ahead of the marcus evans Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing & R&D Summit 2018, Rachel Braun discusses how the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry’s approach to design and engineering must change

Rachel Braun

Vice President

Paramount Group

Reinventing the Global Defense and Aerospace Industry

Recent Delegates
  •  Senior Director of Operations, BAE Systems E&IS
  • VP Materials & Manufacturing Technology, Boeing Research & Technology
  • Director of Production Engineering, Boeing
  • VP, Global Development, Ducommun AeroStructures
  • Director of Operations, General Dynamics Information Technology
  • Director of Programs, GKN Aerospace
  • Propulsion Manufacturing Director, Lockheed Martin Space Systems
  • Director, Manufacturing, Orbital Sciences Corporation
  • Director of Production Operations, The Spaceship Company

    and more…

About the Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing & R&D Summit 2018

The 13th Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing & R&D Summit is the premium forum bringing leading manufacturing, engineering and R&D executives from global aerospace and defense manufacturers and solution providers together. The Summit offers an intimate environment for focused discussion on cutting edge technology, strategy and implementation of solutions to forward thinking aerospace and defense companies interested in staying ahead of the market. Taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village, California, March 1-2, the Summit includes presentations on advanced manufacturing, emerging technologies, additive manufacturing and data analytics.

Copyright © 2018 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

Summit Speakers
  • Pete Bitar, Founder, President and CEO, XADS
  • Gregory Ulmer, Vice President, F-35 Aircraft Production Business Unit, Lockheed Martin
  • Daryl Taylor, Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Manufacturing Facility, Airbus America
  • Gerald Janicki, Vice President, Thermal Systems, Meggitt Defense Systems, Inc.
  • John McGuiness, Brigadier General USA (ret), President, American Ordnance
  • Robert Burns, PMP, Director, Supply Chain Systems and Solutions, General Dynamics Mission Systems
  • Dr William F. Lyons, Director of Global Technology, Boeing Research & Technology

    and more...

March 1-2, 2018

Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village, California

For more information, please contact:
Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian

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