British Army tackles obsolescence with their first metal 3D printed parts

As part of a global advanced manufacturing investment programme that aims to place 3D printed parts anywhere in the world as and when the point of need arises, defence company Babcock International Group delivered the first metal 3D printed parts on the British Army’s active armoured fleets.

Fitted onto in-service fleets, Titan, and Trojan vehicles, the steel components form part of the periscope system to ensure Army crews have visibility of their immediate surroundings. They also address the growing challenges of technical and commercial obsolescence.

For us, this is part of a growing investment programme around advanced and additive manufacturing, which we can now progress to other areas of our business and that is hugely exciting for Babcock”, Babcock’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr Richard Drake notes.

Brigadier Phil Prosser, CBE, Assistant Chief of Staff for Equipment, HQ Field Army also comments: “The fitting of this additively manufactured part represents a key milestone for Defence and the Army. Working together with Babcock we have unlocked a pathway to manufacture certified parts”.

My role in the Field Army is to deliver safe, supported, available and ready equipment to meet Field Army current and future demand to operate, fight and win wars on land. This ability to rapidly manufacture parts will allow our equipment to rapidly deploy on operations, and to stay in the fight for longer. This is battle winning activity and we are committed to this collaboration and will continue to learn at this impressive pace”, he adds.

In February, Babcock launched its technology partnership with Plymouth Science Park and unveiled a brand new innovation centre focused on additive manufacturing techniques. It now means the process to print parts that are obsolete or required in low quantity,  such as the periscope clamp, can now be completed in days instead of months.

Babcock is responsible for the fleet management of over 50,000 vehicles for the British Army ranging from quad bikes and generators to main battle tanks, and weapons from pistols to in-direct artillery.

Remember, you can post free of charge job opportunities in the AM Industry on 3D ADEPT Media or look for a job via our job board. Make sure to follow us on our social networks and subscribe to our weekly newsletter : FacebookTwitterLinkedIn & Instagram ! If you want to be featured in the next issue of our digital magazine or if you hear a story that needs to be heard, make sure to send it to