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Defense ManTech Achievement Award

The Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award recognizes and honors those individuals from government and the private sector most responsible for outstanding technical accomplishments that further the achievement of the vision of the Department of Defense (DoD) Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program. That vision is to "realize a responsive world-class manufacturing capability to affordably meet the Warfighters' needs throughout the defense system life cycle." Sponsored by the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel (JDMTP) the award was established in 1999.

Award recipients are selected based on the following three criteria:

Nominations for the annual award are made primarily by the JDMTP Subpanels but may be made by any member of the JDMTP community. Nominated projects must have been managed by a manufacturing technology program of the Services or the Defense Logistics Agency. The "Selection Committee" consists of the four JDMTP Principals and the Director for OSD ManTech. The awards are presented annually at the Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC) to the designated members of each selected project team.

2015 Awardees

F-35 Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) Producibility

The Electro-Optical Targeting System of the F-35 Lightning II is a high-performance, lightweight, multi-functional system for precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting. The system provides high-resolution imagery, automatic tracking, infrared search-and-track, laser designation with range finding, and laser spot tracking at greatly increased standoff ranges. Production of the system’s Mid-Wave Infrared Integrated Dewar-Cooler Assembly suffered from low yield and production inefficiencies, unable to meet LRIP rates and cost bogeys. This project designed, qualified, and implemented numerous automated and semi-automated manufacturing processes, tools, and equipment to reduce touch labor, increase yields, and improve reliability of the production line. The project improved the MRL from 4 to 8 while reducing the cost per unit by 19%, saving the government over $117 Million dollars with a return on investment over 25X for the program.

EOTS DiGioia
EOTS team

Welding of High Strength Steels

This project improved the strength of welds in high alloy steels, typically used in combat vehicles or armor. The mechanical properties in the area around the welding can be significantly reduced, decreasing the yield strength by up to 50%. This project developed new welding and post-weld heat treatment processes that improve the mechanical properties of the welds allowing for thinner/lighter parts. Projected savings after transition is projected to be over $11M for DLA and the DOD.

Welding Recipient
Welding Team

Manufacturing Technology for High Power Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELS)

This DMS&T effort for VCSELS was responsible for the transformation of both a technology and a company from costly prototypes for niche application into a manufacturing concern for several new lines of commercially available products to support warfighter needs in infrared illumination, range finding, and target identification at substantially lower costs and higher power levels.

VCSEL Team

Other 2015 Nominees

Past Year Awardees

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2014 Award Recipients

Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC)

Chip Scale Atomic Clocks provide impressive long-term frequency stability and long-term time accuracy, all at chip-scale size. This project reduced operational costs and transitioned beyond the custom fabrication of the original CSACs. Objectives included ensuring a viable supply base, and improving the existing batch manufacturing processes, physics package assembly, and sub-system testing to reduce the “touch hours” required for CSAC assembly and testing. Successful performance has fostered an environment of continued operation of critical C4ISR systems, regardless of the availability of a functioning GPS.

Yoonkee Kim & Van Tran (US Army CERDEC); Jeffrey Dansereau (Microsemi Corp); Dale Hollis (Teledyne Reynolds Inc.); Jeffrey Kriz (Honeywell International Inc.)

F-35 Canopy Thermoforming Automation

The F-35 Canopy Thermoforming Automation project developed an automated process for forming state-of-the art stretched acrylic fighter canopies that have traditionally required skilled operators due to the extremely difficult nature of thermoforming stretched acrylic. The technology has been sufficiently matured for implementation into the production program and implementation costs are expected to be very low with production dies currently being procured having been designed to accommodate future automation. The F-35 Program Office anticipates a cost savings of $76 - $125M over the life of the F-35 Program. For more information please see the SCRA press release and the GKN Aerospace press release.

Neil Graf (ONR ManTech); Amanda Gentry & Dave Thomas (F-35 Lightning II Program); Chris Coughlin (NAVAIR 4.3.4.4 Polymers and Composites); Joe Ichniowski (NAVAIR 4.3.5.4 Mechanical Sub-Systems); Ryan Frankart (SCRA Applied R&D); Matthew Ashley, Philip Sturman & Derek Krumm (GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems, Inc.); Richard Barrett (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.)

Low Light Level Sensor

The Low Light Level Sensor program succeeded in maturing the manufacturing quality, capacity, and yield of the first digital low light level sensor that is able to compete in performance with image intensifiers. It put into place a more economically manufactured sensor design and the statistical process controls to assure the fabrication of very high performance sensors. The sensor program anticipates a life cycle cost avoidance of over $612M combined for the multiple platforms that will use this sensor.

Daniel Hosek, Stevie Hart & Thom Soyka (Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate); Randall Blackburn (Navy, AIR-4.6 Electro-Optics); Gary Keller (PM-Solider, Sensors & Lasers); Verle Aebi, Kenneth Costello, Timothy Justyn, Edward Yin & Derek Sykora (Intevac Photonics)

Large Affordable CdZnTe Substrates (LAS)

Current and future Army Infrared Focal Plane Arrays (IR FPAs) that use Mercury Cadmium Telluride detectors are expensive, in large part due to the small size of the underlying Cadmium Zinc Telluride, or CZT, substrate. Additionally, the CZT substrates are available only through a single foreign source, putting future production at risk. Small substrates inherently drive up the cost of detectors as labor costs are essentially the same independent of substrate size. This effort developed improved (substrate polishing to enable a domestic source of larger substrates and will decrease the cost and risk of Army IR FPAs. The program demonstrated 6-by-6 centimeter CZT substrates and an improved polishing process for IR FPA defect reduction.

J. David Benson, Neil D Supola & Jose M. Arias (Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, Science and Technology Division (NVESD/S&T)); Scott M. Johnson, Kelly A. Jones & John A. Kiele (Raytheon Vision Systems); Aristo Yulius, Julie W. Chow & Donald L. Lee (Teledyne Imaging Sensors)

Establishing the Production Capability for Lighter, Higher Energy Soldier Batteries

Manufacturing processes to produce next-generation lighter, higher-energy soldier batteries were implemented in this project to deliver batteries that will reduce the load and extend the mission capability for ground forces. The effort developed a new manufacturing capability that produces batteries with more than double the energy capacity for extended mission run time or half the weight to reduce the load. The increased energy, coupled with an additional 10 years of shelf life will lead to savings of more than $13M by reducing battery procurement and inventory costs. Please join me in congratulating the entire team.

Mather Hutchens (Defense Logistics Agency); Michael Brundage & Christopher Hurley (U.S. Army CERDEC); Xinrong (Ron) Wang & Steven Smith (Ultralife Corporation); Brian Schupbach, Felix Nunez & Matt Housh (EaglePicher Technologies)

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