Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

N-UCAS Metallic Manufacturing Technology Transition Program, Phase I


The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the applicability of advanced metalworking technologies for the production of the Navy-Unmanned Combat Air System (N-UCAS).


The Navy has established a requirement for a lightweight, more affordable naval variant of the N-UCAS.

Technical Approach

Two manufacturing technologies, advanced High Speed Machining (HSM) and Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM) were down-selected during a prior concept exploration project for further evaluation in Phase I of this project.  HSM will be used to manufacture ultra-thin aluminum spars.  LAM technology will be utilized to produce lower-cost titanium components.  Phase II of the project will consist of the fabrication and testing of a full-scale Wing Outboard Fuselage for the naval variant of Boeing’s N-UCAS airframe consisting of both metal and composite parts.


The use of advanced metalworking technologies will reduce the weight and cost of the N-UCAS Wing Outboard Fuselage.  Cost avoidance of $105M is estimated.


This project is being conducted in close cooperation with the N-UCAS Program Office to ensure that implementation is targeted to satisfy the schedule requirements for the production of N-UCAS.  The LAM and advanced HSM technologies will be ready for insertion in mid-2007.