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Blockchain Research Launched by US Navy

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A U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is planning to use the blockchain technology to track aircraft parts.

New Blockchain System for NAVAIR

NAVAIR provides material support for aircraft as well as  airborne weapons systems for the Navy. NAVAIR said that it is currently exploring the possibilities of using the blockchain in tracing the parts through their life-cycle. This will make the process more efficient and cost-effective in comparison to the current methods.

In addition, NAVAIR, said that, “Knowing the origin and history of flight-critical aircraft parts is a resource-consuming process that drives up the cost to operate military aircraft.”

Considering the current systems, parts are tracked through the use of a paper-based process. They are manually recorded on a database. However, the naval command initiated research that will switch Naval Aviation Enterprise processes to a permissioned blockchain.

To this end, a team at NAVAIR’s Fleet Readiness Center Southwest collaborated with ITAMCO (Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies) to use its SIMBA Chain.

Because the SIMBA protocols can “quicly and securely recall large data sets,” the Navy looking at it as a possible solution.

Conceptual Framework For Blockchain Supply Chain System

The collaborators ultimately hope to develop a conceptual framework for a blockchain supply chain system. This will provide greater visibility and security.

The proof-of-concept will be a permissioned chain that will use a consensus mechanism. NAVAIR says that it will require less computing power than the proof-of-work systems. The latter is the one that protocols like Bitcoin use.

The command believes that it has to overcome certain issues. Since a distributed supply chain increases the vulnerability of the system to external attacks, cyber-security will be an important consideration.

Furthermore, the team researching the blockchain believes it increases traceability and visibility. The latter attributes will help NAVAIR drive the Naval Air mission with a greater focus on safety and at a reduced cost.

Furthermore, the innovation arm of the Navy plans use the blockchain technology introduce greater security into its 3D printing systems. The agency plans to use the blockchain to form a data-sharing layer between the various 3D printing sites of the Navy.


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