Industry expertise and the ability to advise customers on emerging industry trends is one of IFS’s key differentiators in market. Our industry experts spend much of their time identifying and analysing technological innovations, changing legislation, and other factors that may impact customers now and in the future. To clarify our views on the current and future state of play in the aerospace and defence industry, below is a summary of the most important trends our industry experts are watching for the foreseeable future.
AI AND SWARMING DRONES
In an industry where gaining advantage can be the difference between mission success and failure, standing still has never been an option for military organizations and defence in-service support providers. Military organizations are at a crossroads: Budgets must be balanced between keeping older, but still vital, assets in service and the attraction of shiny new investment in next-generation equipment all set against a backdrop of a real shortage of maintenance personnel.
AI GETS EMBEDDED FOR PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE FOR MILITARY AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS
AI is rapidly maturing to help improve the readiness of military equipment. All the U.S. military services have recently launched predictive maintenance projects to shrink the readiness gap. For the aircraft being developed into the new decade, it will be AI that will take centre stage in sustainment software, from aircraft design, right through to manufacture and maintenance. Witness the British-led Tempest and the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System—AI is set to have a huge role in how those aircraft operate from both a maintenance and repair standpoint, but also operationally.
FROM A GAME OF DRONES TO A SWARM OF DRONES—UAV SWARM TECHNOLOGY AND AUTONOMOUS FLIGHT SYSTEMS
Many recent predictions have centred around unmanned equipment, but the advancement right now is the potential of grouping AI-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) together to provide a swarm—a format that is incredibly difficult to defend against from a military perspective. The key benefits of this new age of warfare are of course tactical, most air defenses are ill-prepared to deal with an aerial swarm, but simpler unmanned equipment can also be manufactured and maintained far more cost-effectively—reducing the logistics footprint of an aerial squadron and putting fewer servicemen at risk.
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