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Meet RAMBO, The Army’s Brand New 3D-Printed Grenade Launcher
At the beginning of March, U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center unveiled an unusual new addition to the military’s arsenal in the form of a grenade launcher made almost exclusively from 3D-printed components — and fires 3D-printed grenades. Even better, the gearheads at ARDEC gave this fearsome weapon a name worthy of its firepower: RAMBO.
RAMBO is short for Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordnance, a six-month long project meant to push the limits of 3D printing’s potential applications to warfare. The launcher, a modified version of the older M203, consists of 50 separate parts, almost all of them fabricated through 3D printing except for the fasteners and springs holding everything together through the additive manufacturing process that uses successive layers to produce a three-dimensional object.
The RAMBO, disassembled.Photo by DoD
Not everything on RAMBO is made from the relatively untested AM process. The most important components, obviously, weren’t left up to chance: The trigger and firing pin were printed in 4340 alloy steel, the barrel and receiver from aluminum. And let’s not forget the ammo:
An integrated product team selected the M781 40 mm training round because it is simple and does not involve any energetics—explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics are still awaiting approval for use in 3-D printing.
The M781 consists of four main parts: the windshield, the projectile body, the cartridge case and a .38-caliber cartridge case. The windshield and cartridge case are traditionally made by injection molding glass-filled nylon. Using multiple AM systems at multiple locations helped emphasize manufacturing readiness and the Army’s capability to design, fabricate, integrate and test components while meeting tolerances, requirements, and design rules.
AM-printed rounds, like this one, were fired from the 3D-printed launcher at indoor ranges and outdoor facilities to test the RAMBO.Photo by DoD
The goal, according to the Army, isn’t to quickly and cheaply replace the standard M320 Grenade Launcher Module that’s slowly supplanted the M203. “The technology demonstrator did not aim to illustrate whether the grenade launcher and munition could be made cheaper, lighter or better than traditional mass-production methods,” the Army explained. “Instead, researchers sought to determine whether AM technologies were mature enough to build an entire weapon system and the materials’ properties robust enough to create a properly functioning armament.”
So does this beast constitute a properly functioning armament? ARDEC researchers say they successfully fired a 3-D printed grenade from the RAMBO launcher during a live-fire test at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. It’s only a matter of time before this potent little launcher gets properly tested on the battlefield — and we finally decide whether it lives up to its name.
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"