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Army Eyes Investments in 3D Printing, Other Advanced Manufacturing Methods; Alexis Ross Quoted

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Alexis Ross

The U.S. Army plans to make investments in advanced manufacturing techniques to keep pace with industry and near-peer competitors and build up military readiness, National Defense reported Tuesday.

“The Army is watching what is going on in the commercial industrial sector and we want in,” said Alexis Ross, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for strategy and acquisition reform.

“We are seeing not only the industry do it, but we’re also seeing our near-peer adversaries. And this is what is particularly motivating and why we’re talking such a big effort in this right now.”

The service branch introduced earlier this month a policy to promote the use of artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing methods to expand operational rates for legacy systems and optimize logistics capabilities.

Ross said the new policy directs her office to come up with a holistic threat-based strategic plan to ensure “that we’re tying together in a unified fashion the entire Army enterprise and determining exactly where and how to spend our money.”

Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command has received $25M in funds to establish at Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois a center of excellence focused on advanced manufacturing, according to the report.