3D-printing of spare parts to be trialled on A330 Tanker Transport aircraft

Airbus and Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) have agreed details of the first 3D printing initiative under their recently announced digital technology collaboration.

The first initiative under the agreement, signed at the inaugural Singapore Defence Technology Summit last month, will be 3D-printing of spare parts to be initially trialled on Singapore’s new fleet of A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330-MRTT) aircraft.

Under the terms of an implementation agreement signed at Farnborough International Airshow, Airbus Defence and Space will support DSTA in designing and certifying parts produced by additive manufacturing for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) aircraft.

Digitisation is ‘future of military aircraft services’

Head of Military Aircraft Services at Airbus Defence and Space, Stephan Miegel, said: “It is absolutely clear that digitalisation represents the future of military aircraft services and we are now at a point where we can begin to explore the most promising techniques on operational fleets. We greatly appreciate the innovative approach of DSTA in going on this journey with us.”

“Following this first agreement on 3D-printing, we have further agreed to collaborate on data analytics for predictive maintenance. The collaboration will add on to the development of Airbus’ new SmartForce suite of maintenance data analytics launched at Farnborough.”

SmartForce is a suite of services to enable operators to exploit aircraft data to improve troubleshooting, optimise maintenance effort, predict maintenance actions and plan smartly for material demand.

The RSAF has acquired the A330 MRTT and the first aircraft will be delivered to Singapore in the coming months.

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