Space Forge Pioneers In-Space Manufacturing Platform with MOD’s Support
In a significant development for UK defence technology, Space Forge, a South Wales-based company, has received £499,000 in funding as part of a groundbreaking project with Northrop Grumman. The project, backed by the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP), is set to bring innovative manufacturing of semiconductors used in radars and frontline battlefield communications systems to new heights.
A Leap Beyond the Atmosphere for Superior Material Manufacturing
The allure of in-space manufacturing lies in its unique ability to produce materials of unparalleled purity. In space, extreme temperatures and minimal contamination contribute to the creation of superior materials. Semiconductors, which are pivotal components of radar and battlefield communication systems, could benefit immensely from Space Forge’s innovative work, potentially revolutionizing the UK’s defence supply chains.
DTEP Funding Empowers Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
Space Forge’s funding is part of the broader DTEP initiative, designed to bolster small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK. DTEP aims to inspire innovation in materials, technologies, and processes that can enhance defence supply chains. This support encourages SMEs to secure new business opportunities, develop industrial capabilities, and provide cutting-edge solutions to domestic and international defence challenges.
Building Prosperity and Fostering Innovation
Through DTEP’s support, Space Forge not only offers innovative solutions to defence problems but also contributes to job creation in South Wales, aligning with the government’s “levelling up” agenda to boost the economy. SMEs like Space Forge play a crucial role in sustaining industrial capability, driving technological innovation, and supporting high-quality jobs across the nation.
Government Reaffirms Commitment to SMEs in Defence
In a show of dedication to working with small businesses in the defence sector, the Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, visited Cardiff. Minister Cartlidge engaged with leading British SMEs that are at the forefront of new-age defence capabilities.
Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, emphasized the importance of SMEs, saying,
“The work taking place at Space Forge, and other SMEs, is paramount to the success of our future operations. We are committed to supporting their endeavors to ensure our defence capabilities remain at the forefront of technological innovation.”
Small Businesses – Pillars of UK Defence Enterprise
Minister Cartlidge highlighted the critical role SMEs play in the UK defence enterprise, not only in sustaining industrial capability but also in delivering the nation’s defence aspirations. Their expertise and the jobs they create make a significant impact across the UK.
Space Forge’s Vision for the Future
Joshua Western, CEO and Co-founder of Space Forge, expressed his excitement about the partnership with Northrop Grumman. He noted,
“To be working with Northrop Grumman to secure defence supply chains for the Ministry of Defence is an important step in demonstrating the utility of in-space manufacturing. National security is shared security, and this Atlantic partnership is a keystone in building new capabilities and prosperity.”
A Bright Future for UK Space Technology
During his visit, Defence Minister Cartlidge engaged in discussions with leading experts at Space Forge, gaining insight into the latest developments in space capabilities. The vital funding provided by DTEP will ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of space-age technology for defence, reinforcing security capabilities for years to come.
This partnership between Space Forge and Northrop Grumman marks a significant step toward the future of UK defence technology.