Scientists at the UK-based defense company BAE Systems and the University of Glasgow have revealed their plans to grow military aircraft through a chemical process. The process could cut down time in manufacturing custom-made military drones to weeks instead of years using a new machine called Chemputer™.

For years, scientists and engineers have sought a way to create small Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) in large-scale laboratories for military use. Now, the research team says that the UK technology Chemputer™ could grow these at a molecular level.

If they manage to perfect this, military drones will be readily available in moments where multiple small UAVs are needed immediately to support military operations. They could also avoid missiles from the enemy with their speed and high-altitude flight capabilities.

The unique machine will not cause too much damage to the environment because it could use environmentally sustainable materials, the researchers claim. Moreover, Chemputer™ can also be used to manufacture multi-functional parts in bigger manned military aircrafts, which will be used to deploy emergency supplies and small surveillance aircrafts for Special Forces working inside the enemy territory.

“This is a very exciting time in the development of chemistry. We have been developing routes to digitize synthetic and materials chemistry, and at some point in the future, hope to assemble complex objects in a machine from the bottom up or with minimal human assistance,” says Lee Cronin, a professor at the University of Glasgow and Founding Scientific Director at Cronin Group PLC, the group developing the Chemputer™. “Creating small aircrafts would be very challenging but I’m confident that creative thinking and convergent digital technologies will eventually lead to the digital programming of complex chemical and material systems.”

BAE Systems is among the largest security and defense companies in the world, having created some of the most innovative technologies.

BAE Systems Global Engineering Fellow Nick Colosimo says that the BAE Systems has been working to create technologies that can face military threats in the future. To keep up with the evolving military technologies, the company is also working with other scientists and engineers from other institutions.