BAE Systems is major military and aerospace technology company and they have presented some future concepts.
Scientists and engineers at BAE Systems have lifted the lid on some futuristic technologies that could be incorporated in military and civil aircraft of 2040 or even earlier.
Smaller unmanned aircraft -- or UAVs -- are created by super high-tech on-board 3D printers, via Additive Layer Manufacturing and robotic assembly techniques. The 3D printers respond to data fed to them by a remote control room where a human commander decides what should be produced.
The UAVs are best suited to each scenario -- be it a group of wide-winged aircraft for protracted or enduring surveillance -- or rotary-winged UAVs to rescue single civilians or soldiers from dangerous situations. After use the UAVs could render themselves useless through dissolving circuit boards or they might safely land in a recoverable position if re-use was required.
This creates the ultimate adaptable taskforce, with a lead aircraft able to enter any unknown scenario and quickly manufacture an effective toolset for any task.
Now, let's think about this:
- They want to do it by 2040. I am firm believer in technology, but this is going to require some STAR TREK technology guys.
- If you don't develop micro fusion reactors and energy-matter conversion tech, this thing will have to carry a LOT of wight in machinery and mass for 3d printing.
- Even if some similar but less developed technology is implemented, why would anyone send ultra high tech extremely expensive craft to rescue people in natural disasters when HELICOPTERS are well developed and widely used.
- I also have slight suspicion that someone will want to 3d print bombs on-board of military aircraft. Still, all limitations remain. Why send something very expensive and heavy when you have proven delivery methods? Maybe some tactician is thinking of highly customized munition for very demanding missions with uncertain parameters for high-value targets.
- To conclude: maybe someone should develop 3d printed guided sandwiches so we can feed all the hungry with high precision. Make food, not bombs. PEACE!
BAE Systems page with more advanced technology future concepts like transforming drones, self-healing drones and other:
Only two weeks from this article there is a confirmation that US military is actually working on 3d printed warheads: