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The Crossroads of Special Operations

Sunday, June 13, 2021

New submarines are making America’s Navy SEALS even deadlier | National Interest

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On average, it would take the Navy around five months to put together even the smallest of submarines. The Optionally Manned Technology Demonstrator (OMTD) is changing all of that. 3D-printing has enabled the Navy to put together a hull in just a few weeks. Releasing the first 3D-printed hull over the summer, the hull was 30 feet long and designed to shuttle SEALs in and out of combat zones. Originally, a sub would cost close to $800,000, but these new printed ones come to a total of $60,000. The OMTD represents a huge step towards ‘on-demand’ manufacturing, and is the Navy’s largest 3D printed asset. Vehicle and supply demand can be met in real-time, allowing operations to adapt to the environment and situations around them. Assets like the OMTD increases operational flexibility and effectiveness, which is a big deal for U.S. special operations forces leading the charge in the Global War on Terror. Prototypes of the OMTD could ‘hit the water’ as soon as 2019.

Source: https://nationalinterest.org

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