"Significant changes" in the weapons mix of the U.S. Navy are needed during the next 25 to 35 years. So reports a National Research Council panel on naval weapons. The study calls for increased use of smart weapons, stealth, and electronic warfare. Needed is a family of low-cost, high-volume, long-range precision ballistic weapons for surface-to-surface operations. Also recommended: a new air-to-air weapon, mines operated by networked sensor systems, and an array of non-lethal weapons. More emphasis should be put, the panel says, on undersea weapons optimized for offensive and defensive operations in coastal regions. In the future, it adds, a greater percentage of ordnance will ride on standoff air-to-surface weapons. These weapons must receive target information from off-board sensors, as well as have autonomous capabilities to continue their attack in the face of countermeasures.
Researchers working with additive manufacturing have said multimaterial techniques will allow industry “to fabricate materials with combinations of density, strength, and thermal expansion that do not exist [yet].”
The term "multiphysics" is used to describe the simulation of multiple types of physics and their influence on one another -- for example, the investigation of the behavior of a chemical in liquid form will involve both chemistry and fluid dynamics.
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