RUAG Australia has been awarded a Defence Innovation Hub (DIH) Prototype System (Phase 3) contract for the restoration of structural strength to damaged components using Laser Additive Deposition (LAD), to support future aircraft sustainment for the RAAF.
The newly awarded $2.43 million DIH contract will continue the development of LAD technologies to enable 'reliable and repeatable' repairs of damaged metal components for Defence, with the hopes to reduce overall lifecycle operating costs and improve operational agility.
This contract follows the successful completion of a Capability & Technology Demonstrator (CTD) program in 2019 (which established RUAG's Powder Feed LAD system at its Bayswater site) and the successful repair of an aircraft component prototype.
According to RUAG Australia, the RAAF Capability Manager, Defence Airworthiness Regulator and Defence Scientific Advisor support the development of this sovereign additive repair capability, and in partnership with RUAG Australia, have agreed on a development strategy to progress with the next phase of Prototype Development.
The contract will assist with developing a DASA certification for additive repaired and manufactured products. RUAG says the significant investment in LAD repair capability will lead to 'reduced cost of ownership of Defence platforms, improved repair turnaround times and better platform availability'.
“We’re proud to develop world-leading additive repair technologies, to continue supporting our defence customers which enhance their operational readiness,” says Terry Miles, General Manager, RUAG Australia.