Babcock has 3D printed steel parts to be used across the British Army’s active armored fleets that have been manufactured and fitted by defense company, Babcock International Group. The steel components are believed to be the first made in this way by any supplier to the UK’s Ministry of Defense specifically to tackle the growing challenges of technical and commercial obsolescence. Fitted onto in-service fleets, Titan and Trojan vehicles, the parts form part of the periscope system to ensure Army crews have visibility of their immediate surroundings.The major milestone is part of a longer-term global advanced manufacturing investment programme by Babcock, which is developing a capability that could see parts printed anywhere in the world as and when the point of need arises. This could include seeing 3D printers’ onboard vessels at sea or at military sites abroad.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. Digital solutions such as additive manufacturing are becoming increasingly significant in the management of complex, critical, legacy, and low volume assets. Printing parts in this way can also ensure companies that need to manufacture at scale can do so in a more sustainable way, using only materials at the point of need.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.