The articles came one after the other, and taken together don't require a special effort of one's imagination. The first one says:
Designs for many of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon and to officials from government and the defense industry.And the second one, in a seemingly unconnected direction:
Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board.
According to one Lieutenant Commander Michael Llenza, the Navy's future lies in converting aircraft carriers into “floating factories,” each carrying a fleet of 3D printers to churn out weapons, drones, and even shelters at a moment’s notice. There’s money and time to be saved in the sheer logistical rationality of the scheme. For example, when cylindrical bullets are stacked, tiny bits of wasted space are created—which add up, when you're talking about millions of the things. Rectangular packages of powder, which could be printed into bullets when needed, are a far more efficient use of space.As I said, the logic is inexorable from these two points on. If in the good old days it took years from the moment when the paperwork with the plans and know-how details were stolen to the moment of the first prototype of the stolen technology rolling out of the factory gates, in the world of tomorrow (today?) it may take a few hours. Download the digital information, load it into the 3D printer and hey presto - your new stolen toy is ready to shoot (swim, fly, jump, ...).
Good for the Chinese folks, no doubt.
Although: why should it be good for Chinese folks only? OK, I am off for a while...