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A recent research report from Accenture demonstrates that 86 percent of aerospace and defense companies (A&D) expect to integrate blockchain technology into their corporate systems by 2021. A new blockchain-based system that could help secure and streamline the complex global supply chains supporting the A&D industry has been recently demonstrated by Accenture and Thales. The prototype combines blockchain, internet-of-things and other innovative technologies to track, trace and authenticate aircraft parts and materials.

The prototype is based on Hyperledger Fabric, a Hyperledger project hosted by The Linux Foundation. Developed jointly by Accenture and Thales, the solution provides a single, shared view of the supply chain – and an immutable audit trail – for partnering suppliers, manufacturers and operators, according to

“The aerospace and defense industry has one of the world’s most vast and complex supply chains,” said John Schmidt, global managing director for Accenture’s Aerospace and Defense practice. “Blockchain technology offers a new, elegant and secure way for the industry to track and trace myriad components while deterring counterfeiting and improving maintenance capabilities. Used in combination with technologies like digital twins and digital threads, blockchain could ultimately be a game-changing innovation for this sector.”

“Identifying counterfeit and grey-market goods in the A&D supply chain can be challenging,” said Gareth Williams, vice president for secure communications and information systems at Thales UK. “Using blockchain in combination with cryptoseals and physically unclonable functions allows you to build a trusted history behind parts.”