Defense & Aerospace
How BlockChain can revolutionize the Aerospace and Defence Sector
For a number of commentators, Blockchain is one of the most exciting and disruptive technologies to be linked with the Aerospace and Defence (A&D) sector in recent years. In today’s market, A&D companies are looking for innovative and transformative technologies that will help them succeed in an increasingly competitive market. But what is Blockchain, and how can it be applied to the Aerospace and Defence sector?
WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN
Blockchain is an independent, permanent, and transparent database, existing on multiple computers at the same time in such a way that anybody with an interest can maintain a copy of it 1. It is a ledger of records (much like an excel spreadsheet) that is arranged in linked data blocks. Each of these blocks is capable of linking to, and referencing back to, a previous data block, creating the ‘chain’ in Blockchain.
What makes Blockchain so radical, and importantly useful, is the fact that the ledger is not controlled by a singular body, nor stored in a singular location. Blockchain coexists on multiple computers at the same time, meaning that anybody can gain access as desired. Importantly, the ledger itself can only be changed when there is consensus among the user group, making Blockchain incredibly secure in relation to data manipulation and hacking.
The simplistic and secure nature of Blockchain has made it very popular within a number of markets, especially the financial sector. But how can this technology be translated and applied to Aerospace and Defence contexts?
USES OF BLOCK CHAIN IN AEROSPACE AND DEFENCE
SUPPLY CHAIN TRACKING AND PROCUREMENT SUPPORT
A number of A&D companies have been exploring how Blockchain may be able to improve tracking in supply chains and procurement. By using a shared database with suppliers and partners, companies may be better able to track exchanges and movements of products along the entire supply chain. This will remove time and hassle, making the whole system more efficient.
A key benefit of Blockchain is its security attributes. For the A&D industry, cyber security is critical, especially for those involved with government and military organisations.
Traditionally the sector has had to deal with hacking and data manipulation threats by investing in costly data protective systems and skilled personal. The very nature of Blockchain offers a safe platform for communicating and conducting transactions across the global value chain, reducing the necessity for security infrastructure and systems.
A specific example, promoted by Lufthansa, is the potential use of Blockchain within A&D as a neutral information documentation system. As mentioned above, Blockchain information is secure and universally visible. Once information is stored in a ‘block’, these are verified and sealed from alteration.
For the manufacturing process, this characteristic could be very useful. Components can be logged throughout various stages of the production and installation process. Users can then see the exact details of specific components, alerting them to when a component may be damaged or coming to the end of its life cycle.
There are a variety of potential applications that Blockchain can have within Aerospace and Defence. As the technology develops, and becomes more ubiquitous, further and further applications for the technology will become evident. Those with stakes in A&D should be excited and prepared for the Blockchain boom.
Sinclair Fox and Challenge Advisory have gained multiple years of experience in tackling and providing consultation services for issues relating to the aerospace and defence industries, as examined above. To find out more about specific services and areas of operat, follow the links below: