ASC and partners to pioneer additive manufacturing for submarines: Australia’s dedicated submarine sustainment organisation, ASC, is collaborating with Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and DMTC Limited, to pioneer the use of additive manufacturing for the repair of Collins Class submarines. The partners have joined forces to further develop ‘cold spray’ technology for repairing damaged metal surfaces, to enable the future in situ repair of submarine components. Successful development of the cold spray technique for this specific maritime application will allow Australian submarines to remain at sea for longer, without the need to dock for lengthy repairs. Cold spray is an additive manufacturing and repair method that uses a stream of supersonic gas to accelerate metal powder particles at a surface, building up a dense deposit. The innovative process occurs below the melting temperatures of the metals involved, which avoids damaging the structural integrity of the components and surrounding area. ASC Chief Executive Officer Stuart Whiley said: “It’s vitally important for ASC to be on the cutting edge of submarine sustainment innovation, to continually improve Australia’s submarine availability to the Royal Australian Navy service,” Whiley said. “The use of additive manufacturing for the repair of critical submarine components, including the pressure hull, will mean faster, less disruptive repairs for our front line Collins Class submarine fleet.” The two-year project seeks to deliver breakthroughs in submarine repair and cost of-ownership reductions for the Royal Australian Navy, through expert contributions from industrial and research partners. The project will see ASC engineers working with CSIRO’s Lab22 research facility for additive manufacturing of metals, in Melbourne, to develop portable equipment for in-situ repair in the confines of a submarine. Once successfully proven and certified, ASC will be licensed to use cold spray to support its work as Australia’s submarine sustainment organisation, primarily in supporting the Collins Class submarine fleet.

Funding for aspiring female pilots extended: Funding to the Australian Women Pilots’ Association (AWPA), Chief of Air Force’s Flying Scholarships, has been approved for another four years to support aspiring female pilots. Each year, two scholarships are awarded to females aged 16 to 24, who are already undertaking training for a pilot’s license. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the scholarships helped young women pursue an exciting and challenging career in aviation. “Pursuing a career as a pilot can be incredibly expensive and challenging,” Reynolds said. “These scholarships, valued at A$14,350, are designed to help young women make their flying dreams a reality, while also supporting Defence’s objective to increase female participation within the aviation sector. Since the scholarships started in 2011, winners have gone on to accept flying positions in the aviation industry, including two recipients who have since become pilots in the Air Force.”

Mental health support for younger veterans boosted: Support for the mental health needs of younger Australian veterans has received a boost with more than A$1 million in grants or eight projects which will be delivered by ex-service organisations (ESOs) and other veteran community organisations. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the latest round of the Supporting Younger Veterans grants has provided funding to projects that support the development of well-researched and tailored services and programs for younger veterans who may be at risk of experiencing poor mental health. “The government is committed to putting veterans and their families first and it’s important that we work with the veteran and ex-service community to ensure support is provided to veterans and their families at grassroots level, when and where they need it,” Chester said. “These projects include employment, education, recreational, sports, social connectedness and digital supports—all great initiatives offering real support to veterans.” Australia’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) recognises the potential impact COVID-19 may have on recipients completing their projects with social distancing and other public health measures in place across the country. The grants offer will be available for the initial 12-month period, however if the organisation requires more time to complete their project due to COVID-19, , DVA will consider  extending the  length of the agreement on a case-by-case basis. This flexibility will ensure all of the successful organisations can deliver their projects within a reasonable timeframe and continue to deliver great support their local veteran community.

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