US Army fires 3D-printed grenade launcher

The US Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) has successfully fired the first 3D-printed grenade from a 3D-printed grenade launcher. Part of a demonstration of how such technology can be used to greatly speed up prototyping and modification of weapons while lowering costs, the grenade launcher, called RAMBO (Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordnance), was based on an M203A1 grenade launcher and every component, with the exception of the springs and fasteners, was manufactured using additive manufacturing.

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By 2030 U.S. Army will replace 25% of soldiers with robots

army robots

The U.S. Army has recently declared that it is cutting troop levels. Over the next sixteen years, each and every brigade in the Army will see its soldier count drop from 4,000 to 3,000, with robots making up the loss in firepower. That’s according to General Robert Cone, who said robot soldier levels would reach their new peak between 2030 and 2040 during an Army Aviation symposium last week.



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U.S. military testing TrackingPoint ‘smart rifles’


TrackingPoint smart rifle

The startup TrackingPoint unveiled the first in their line of “smart rifles” last summer. The smart rifles are unlike your average sniper rifle, which requires a great deal of training and expertise to effectively kill at range. The TrackingPoint rifles can be picked up by absolute novices, even those as young as 12 years old. (Videos)



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Chinese army tied to cyber attacks against U.S.

Satellite shot of the building from the report.

New York Times correspondents David Sanger and David Barboza, and  technology reporter Nicole Perlroth are out with a huge report on Chinese cyber-attacks on US companies.  The New York Times has gotten their hands on an advanced copy of a report by Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm the newspaper had previously hired when it got hacked.



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U.S. Army develops sandwich that stays fresh for 2 years

2 year sandwich

The Two-Year Sandwich

The military’s Meal Ready to Eat (M.R.E.), or those freeze-dried packages full of gummy pastes and freeze dried dreck that soldiers carry into the field is getting a much-needed upgrade.  It’s not better tasting dehydrated foods or better freeze-drying technology. Rather, the U.S. Army has developed the world’s most cutting edge sandwich, one that can be served fresh after sitting on the shelf for two full years.


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5 biggest job cuts announcements in 2011

Patrick Donahue

U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahue

U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahue prepares to testify at  Senate hearing on the the U.S. Postal Service’s fiscal crisis on Sept. 6 Senate. The postal service’s 7,500 job cuts announced in March rank No. 5 on outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas’s list of 2011 announced workforce reductions.


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Are You Ready For SA Photonics High-Res Digital Night Vision System?


Luke, I am your father…

Given, it might make you look like the love child of Robocop and a cartoon kitten, but SA Photonics’ High Resolution Night Vision System (HRNVS) could mean smoother night flights for the US military. The light weight head mounted display couples high resolution imagery and an impressive 82.5 degree field of vision — previous devices offered a range of only 40 degrees. What’s more, it provides clearer peripheral vision, virtually non-existent halo effects, digital image enhancement, and night vision recording. The headset was designed in collaboration with the US Army and the Air Force Research Laboratory, which means these robo Sanrio helmets might actually get some play. Full PR after the break…

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Camouflaged Soldiers from Around the World

soldier 11

Camouflaged soldier

Camouflage is a method of cryptic or concealing coloration that allows an otherwise visible organism or object to remain indiscernible from the surrounding environment through deception. Nineteenth century armies tended to use bright colors and bold, impressive designs. These were intended to daunt the enemy, attract recruits, foster unit cohesion, or allow easier identification of units in the fog of war. (pics)

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