From the Sherman tanks in the Battle of the Bulge to the Abrams tanks in the second Battle of Fallujah, and even the Strykers that carried infantryman during “the surge,” the Army’s armored vehicles have performed valiantly in our nation’s most important operations. Some have argued that armored divisions are no longer necessary in light of the unconventional fight that is status quo for the United States. But with Russia, Iran, and North Korea all making open threats directed at the United States recently, a conventional war in the near future is now a realistic possibility.
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.
The Army is the latest organization to venture into the realm of driverless cars, joining the likes of Tesla, Google, Audi, Uber, and many others in tech’s most popular sector. Unlike its corporate counterparts, though, Army leadership isn’t investing in this industry to make morning commutes easier or allow people to chow down burgers in the driver’s seat. They’ve got bigger goals in mind.