IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. (TSX VENTURE:IB)(OTCQX:IAALF) has successfully delivered several unmanned aerial system (UAS) demonstration articles manufactured using IBC’s proprietary Beralcast® technology. The components were delivered to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Reliability Information Analysis Center (RIAC) as a part of a program that evolved from a 2011 development and technical services agreement between IBC, the U.S. military’s Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the Naval Air Systems Command (“NAVAIR”), headquartered in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Wyle, a provider of aerospace engineering services to the federal government, engaged IBC on behalf of the RIAC to demonstrate the service life and performance enhancement for UAS platforms using Beralcast® materials. An assembly of three critical components for the Navy’s MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff UAS was down-selected for demonstration. The RIAC will perform additional testing and evaluation which will be available for all current and future in-service aircraft programs.
“We are pleased to have delivered these Beralcast® parts and will continue to work closely with Wyle and NAVAIR through the testing and evaluation phase,” said IBC Engineered Materials President Ray White. “IBC’s strong materials and aerospace capabilities are ideally suited to UAS applications and can significantly increase subsystem performance and service life, including loiter time and flight range due to reduced payload weight. With our diverse aerospace experience,” continued White, “IBC is able to manage multiple commercial UAS production programs alongside our existing aerospace initiatives.”
Recent deployment of UAS systems has increased dramatically and is driving strong growth across both the military and commercial segments. The effectiveness of UASs has encouraged full commitment which will drive rapid market growth. A 2013 Teal Group market study predicts UAS spending to double during the next decade from $5.9 billion annually to $11.3 billion, totaling more than $95 billion. The report says the U.S. will account for 77% of the R&D and 69% of the procurement spend.
The development and technical services agreement, signed in 2011, covers the identification of suitable component and substructures for commercial scale manufacturing opportunities using the Beralcast® ultra-light and high modulus beryllium aluminum alloys. IBC Engineered Materials is working closely with NAVAIR to develop, evaluate and test the use of IBC’s Beralcast® alloys for a range of UAS programs. The joint initiative is focused on the manufacture of specific subsystem components using Beralcast® alloys to achieve weight reduction, greater sensor effectiveness and component stiffness for specific UAS programs.