Defence giant BAE Systems is being paid by the United States government to supply the Indian Army with field guns.
The 145 M777 ultra-lightweight howitzers will be made at the company’s site In Barrow, Cumbria. The £445m ($542m) contract will mean 130 new jobs, it said.
The US Department of Defence is buying the weaponry through its Foreign Military Sales programme, which supports other countries’ defence if it is in US and world security interests. Work will start immediately and deliveries are scheduled to start in June, BAE said.
UK composite materials manufacturer, TISICS is working in collaboration with the Advanced structural Testing Centre (ASTC) of the AMRC with Boeing to explore the development of materials for demanding environments, such as aerospace, transport and energy.
TISICS specialise in the development and manufacture of high strength, lightweight titanium metal matrix composites. Reinforced with the firm’s unique silicon carbide monofilaments, the material could be of great benefit in areas where high strength and low-weight are critical to performance.
As part of a programme of work, co-funded by the Innovate UK, the Advanced Structural Testing Centre (ASTC) will be working with TISICS to complete fatigue testing and certification on titanium composite actuator rods. The rods are being developed for use in commercial aircraft assemblies such as landing gear, wings and engines, and are reinforced with silicon carbide, a metal matrix composite designed with reportedly exceptional compression strength. The lightness and corrosion resistant are also ideally suited to landing gear applications.
TISICS is also developing actuators rods in highly specialised aerospace technology such as satellites where light weighting is critical to the design of components, as saving the smallest amount of weight can have a massive impact on launch costs.
Managing Director of TISICS, Stephen Kyle-Henney commented “TISICS metal composite technology has the potential to save 35-70% weight on many aircraft and space system components. This work demonstrates the advances in the material and manufacturing performance over the past 4 years.”