At a Steam-Age Arsenal, U.S. Army Forges Cannons for a Digital Era, War in Ukraine

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WATERVLIET, N.Y.—On a military base more than two centuries old, the Army is hammering out its cannon of the future.

The Watervliet Arsenal opened during the War of 1812 and one building dates to 1828. Yet inside an aging production hall, new digital machine tools that resemble science-fiction space pods are churning out components for Abrams tanks, a weapon pledged for fighting in Ukraine. In another hall, an automated forge pounds red-hot metal cylinders into 20-foot gun barrels for America’s next howitzers, which will lob shells more than 40 miles.

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