Trump says Pentagon to produce lithium sea-water batteries (US)

A senior U.S. administration official said new steps to ensure U.S. military’s supplies include an effort to build up stockpiled reserves of scarce materials and expand U.S. capabilities to manufacture products such as lithium sea-water batteries.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Friday there was a shortfall in the U.S. defense industrial base relating to lithium sea-water batteries and the Defense Department would purchase equipment for pilot production of the batteries that are critical for anti-submarine warfare. A Pentagon-led report issued on Friday that seeks to mend weaknesses in core U.S. industries vital to national security included recommendations such asContinue reading

Voestalpine gets tariff exemptions for some U.S. orders: CEO (US)

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine said some of the applications it has filed to shield U.S. orders from local import tariffs have been successful. The company has so far received 140 responses to the total 3,500 applications it has filed, Chief Executive Wolfgang Eder told journalists late on Tuesday. Eder said, however, that the decisions so far only affected small orders. “The really big ones are still outstanding,” he said, Continue reading

US Air Force Cancels $419.6 million Forgings Contract Awarded to Swiss Group: Schmolz + Bickenbach (US)

The US Air Force (USAF) has cancelled one of two contracts recently awarded to manufacture BLU-137/B penetrator warheads because the recipient is foreign-owned and so ineligible, Jane’s has learnt. Documents seen by Jane’s on 6 September show that the USAF has rescinded a USD419.6 million deal for 300 BLU-137/B ‘bunker buster’ bodies (with the potential for up to 3,500 bodies) awarded to Finkl & Sons Company on 27 June, as the Chicago-based steel manufacturer is owned by Swiss group Schmolz + Bickenbach.

The Air Force plans to scrap a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to make bunker-busting bombs amid lawmaker complaints it had been given to a foreign-owned company with ties to a U.S-sanctioned Russian oligarch. In an Aug. 30 letter obtained by Bloomberg Government, the Air Force appeared to agree with the lawmakers, who had said the company, Chicago-based A. Finkl & Sons Co., should have been ineligible because of its foreign ownership. Finkl’s Swiss parent company, Schmolz + Bickenbach, has links to Russian billionaire and aluminum magnate Viktor Vekselberg, according to company records. While not mentioning Vekselberg, the Air Force Continue reading

India Awaits Advanced Materials for Its Space Program (US)

Over the years, ISRO has localised maraging steel, many aluminium alloys, composites, chemicals, coatings and high temperature items. A hafnium-neobium has been produced to create a superalloy of columbium for advanced missions and needs to be produced on a large scale. ISRO is now looking for aluminium and beryllium alloys to make smaller structures; and carbon-carbon composites for the nose cone of the RLV; and carbon nanotubes for fuel tank systems and silica alternatives for thermal tiles. Next-generation semicryogenic launchers and electric propulsion systems of smaller future satellites need them

A national effort is needed to develop and produce advanced materials to drive the future space programme, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Sivan has said. Along with high propulsion systems for its launch vehicles, the ISRO is pursuing materials that have extraordinary properties, such as aluminium and beryllium alloys and carbon nanotubes. These are needed for the upcoming high-profile national missions such as the Human Space Programme (HSP), the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), re-entering crew capsules, fuel-saving scramjet missions and the distant single-stage launchers. Locally made materials will also help to cut importsContinue reading

Pentagon funding bans China rare earths (US)

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. Aug. 14 said the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 signed into law by President Donald Trump is a turning point for the rare earth element sector in the United States. The new legislation, more commonly known as the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, prohibits the U.S. Department of Defense from acquiring rare earth magnets – along with certain tungsten, tantalum and molybdenum products – from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. “This is a turning point in the re-establishment of an independent US rare earth industry,” said Ucore President and CEO Jim McKenzie. “It is also an important Continue reading

Department of the Interior Publishes a list of 35 Criticals Materials for the US National Security (US)

Department of the Interior recently published a list of 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the U.S. This list was the initial focus of a multi-agency strategy to implement president Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order to break America’s dependence on foreign minerals.  At the direction of secretary Zinke, Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey published a draft list of 35 critical minerals under Executive Order 13817. After consideration of the 453 public comments received, the Department of the Continue reading

U.S. Army and Missile Defense Agency to develop novel high-strength, magnesium alloys (US)

These new alloys, with further development, show tremendous potential to save 30% or more in structural weight by replacing cast and wrought 2000, 6000, and 7000 series aluminum alloys in transportation, space, and defense applications. Replacing steel with aluminum can lead to an ~40% weight savings and using magnesium alloys instead of aluminum can lead to a further weight reduction of ~30%.

Ohio—Terves LLC. (“Terves”) is pleased to announce that it was selected by the U.S. Army and Missile Defense Agency to continue development of novel high-strength, non-flammable, nanostructured magnesium alloys for light-weighting applications. Terves received the Department of Defense (“DoD”) SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) support to enhance its patent-pending cast and wrought Magnesium alloys derivedContinue reading

Materion Testifies on Stategic Materials Committee at the United States Senate (US)

Materion’s Greg Gregory testifies before U.S. Senate’s Committee on Energy & Natural Resources

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul 18, 2018–Materion Corporation (NYSE:MTRN) yesterday testified before the Committee on Energy & Natural Resources of the United States Senate about the importance of critical minerals to the U.S. military and the U.S. economy. Responding to an invitation from Chairman Murkowski of Alaska, Materion Natural Resources President Greg Gregory testified to the need for a whole-of-government approach to critical minerals.   “We appreciate the opportunity that Chairman Murkowski offered us to explainContinue reading

U.S. Commerce launches national security probe into uranium imports (US)


U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday that he has launched a new national security investigation into uranium imports that could lead to tariffs or quotas to limit them.

WASHINGTON (AFP) –  The United States on Wednesday began investigating whether uranium imports threaten national security, launching a process that could see yet more tariffs imposed on exports from allied countries. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the probe would cover the entire uranium sector, including mining and enrichment, and both defense and industrial uses. “Our production of uranium necessary for military and electric power has dropped from 49 percent of our consumption to five percent,” Ross said in a statement.  He pledged a thorough, fair and transparent investigation of the matter. Ross formally notified Defense Secretary JimContinue reading

Russia Next Generation Attack Submarine will use Titanium (US)

The submarine’s noise absorbing rubberized coating will be replaced with a multiple layer of composite materials. Made from those will be hulk coatings, nose and aft rudders, stabilizers, superstructure enclosure, propellers, and shaft lines. The use of titanium alloys is also very likely, testifying to which is the possible diving depth of the submarine (up to 1 km) and its service life.

On May 22, 2018, Aleksey Rakhmanov, the head of the USC, said in an interview to Izvestia about completion of the conceptual stage in designing the fifth-generation submarine. For obvious reasons the military does not reveal details, but by now sufficient information is already available for defining the boat’s general concept. First off, it will be built based on the modular system. The Russian Navy will get a basic underwater platform with a nuclear reactor and a propulsive system, defense equipment and command post. Provisions are made in the central part of the boat for placing various modules.  Depending on filling with them, the boat can be converted to a strategic missileContinue reading