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The Evolving Landscape of Defense Industry Manufacturing

Defense manufacturing is an industry that has seen a lot of change, especially in the electronics sector. This industry is one that has seen major impacts thanks to technological advancements as well as recent geopolitical events like major pandemics or economical shifts. Here are a few of the recent trends that have been shaping the future of manufacturing for Defense. 

Smart Technologies and UAVs

One of the major impacts of the exponential growth in technology has been the development of AI and valuable equipment such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and smarter robotics. These types of technologies have become more and more common, both for their ability to streamline operations and to provide more efficient and safer operations for the DoD. Smart technologies and AI integration have come a long way for improving communications, streamlining operations, and providing safety for soldiers and end-users. 

Increasing Emphasis on Sustainability

Just like in every other industry, Defense manufacturing has seen a greater emphasis on developing more sustainable, energy-efficient processes and products both to improve the industry’s impact on the environment as well as provide more cost-efficient production. More and more defense manufacturers are becoming more conscious about their energy consumption and finding ways to reduce the amount of waste that they produce. Things like using recycled metals or developing more additive manufacturing techniques have become more popular over recent years. 

Lighter Weight, Lesser Space

The push for smaller and more compact components has been a driving force for the electronics industry as a whole, but has been especially important in Defense and Aerospace manufacturing. When it comes to electronics especially, keeping components lightweight and compact means that there’s more space for other functionality, or less weight that would need to be moved. UAVs then don’t require as much power to take off or to stay in flight, while robotics manufacturers can pack more function into the equipment.  

Paying Closer Attention to Supply Chain Risk

The recent COVID pandemic disrupted manufacturing worldwide. While it didn’t entirely shut down Defense manufacturing, the pandemic did reveal several weaknesses in the supply chains used in this particular industry. Many defense OEMs and their partners are paying much closer attention to supply chain risk, and finding ways to simplify, streamline, and reshore their manufacturing capabilities and sources to improve supply chain stability overall. 

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