Marines’ 3D-Printed ‘Nibbler’ Drone Creating Lessons Learned on Logistics, Counter-UAS

THE PENTAGON – Marines who recently completed a deployment to U.S. Central Command in support of Operation Inherent Resolve brought with them 3D printers to make their own small quadcopters, learning lessons both on hybrid logistics models and counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations.

Col. Bill Vivian, commanding officer of the 7th Marine Regiment who also led the last Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Crisis Response unit in U.S. Central Command, told reporters today that his Marines built an initial batch of 25 Nibbler UAVs – quadcopters with a dwell time of about 20 to 25 minutes, which can carry cameras or other intelligence payloads and cost about $2,000 apiece to print – and then followed up by making a couple additional vehicles and other various tools and components as needed for the SP-MAGTF.


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