Beth, these are good questions. Navy ships last a very long time. In the 1990s we were still using battleships built during WWII. They could still be in use, but the decision was made to produce new ships instead of keeping the old ones. These are large machines and it is easy to fit them out with new equipment over time. The battleships I mentioned, were outfitted with cruise missles and Phalanx gun system, which were not even concieved of when they were built. Frankly, with something as large as a combat ship, putting laser weapons or rail guns is not a big deal. They could be put on existing ships today, and probably would be.
Very sci-fi looking and the idea of shooting laser beams--that certainly puts the warship in a next-gen class. I'm curious as to how often the Navy rolls out a next-generation ship and what the typical life span is on these vessels. Any one have any clue?
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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