The US Department of Defense is using 3D printing to make hypersonic weapons

The U.S. Department of Defense has quite a history of using 3D printing, working to implement this technology in many of its new weapons and vehicle designs. An example of this is the agreement between Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB), where additive manufacturing is being integrated into the construction process of the Virginia class nuclear submarines to address supply chain shortages. In more exciting news in the field, according to Defense News, the Pentagon has announced that it wants to incorporate 3D printing into their Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HWAC). More specifically, the technologies will be used to make direct-flow air-jet engines which are used in everything from aircraft to missiles, and are unique in that they are capable of exceeding speeds such as mach 24 (or more than 18,400 mph/29,000 kph).

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