Go inside the hidden world of military and frontline gear factories where raw materials become finished products.
S01:E01 - An Assault Rifle, a Bomb Suit, a Mortar, and a Zodiac
What starts off as a seven-pound bar of solid steel will soon deliver a bullet with deadly accuracy when it becomes the barrel of a Colt C7 assault rifle. In the Gulf War, Rwanda, and Afghanistan, the Colt C7 has served as the standard issued weapon to soldiers around the world.
S01:E02 - A Parajet, a Hovercraft, a Camo Jacket, and a Portable Military Shelter
As lightweight aluminum is cut and tooled, it will become the frame of a personal flying machine. Used by military operatives, drug enforcement agents, and first responders – it gets you in and out fast, whether you are carrying a camera or a gun. So whether the mission is bringing back intel, getting a beat on contraband, or locating a victim in harsh terrain, the Parajet turns the well-trained pilot into a spy in the sky.
S01:E03 - A Sniper Rifle, a Zeppelin, a Ka-Bar Knife, and Dragon Eggs
In 48 hours, a block of metal will be formed into the most accurate weapon on earth: the AX-338 Sniper Rifle. In a warzone, police stand off, or hostage taking, the sniper is often the only solution to a bad situation. And, if a target is caught in the crosshairs of an AX338 from as far as 20 city blocks away, he’ll never know what hit him.
S01:E04 - An Amphibious Armoured Vehicle, a Bomb Robot, and a Life Raft
When a steel plated hull is fitted with controls on the inside and tracks on the outside, it’ll become the Viking BVS10 –an armoured amphibious personnel carrier that can get troops in and out of any combat zone, even if it has to go through snow, sand, or water to get there. The Viking’s unique design allows this 1-and-a-half tonne vehicle to glide through the water instead of sinking like a stone. And it can keep up to a dozen passengers protected. Even under fire.
S01:E05 - A Helmet, a Zippo, a Fuel Bladder, and a Simulated IED
When a series of delicate snowflake shaped sheets of Aramid are pressed together, they’ll form a piece of headgear that’s comfortable enough to wear to war, and tough enough to take a bullet. Up until the mid-90’s, helmets hadn’t evolved that far from the steel doughboy helmets of World War 1. A helmet had to be developed that offered the same comfort as a hockey helmet, with the ballistic protection and utility of combat gear. The Special Operations Delta helmet has answered that call.
S01:E06 - A Pistol, a Firetruck, a Ghillie Suit, and an Armored Fighting Vehicle
At the Cabot factory in Pennsylvania, USA, a block of steel will be transformed by innovation and artistry into the ultimate update of an American classic. An iconic side arm and a formidable weapon. The 1911 did tours of duty in both world wars and Vietnam, and is still prized today by collectors and enthusiasts. And the legendary design has changed very little in the last 100 years.
S01:E07 - A Cannon, a Parachute, a Medal, and a Stretcher
A battle tank is only as effective as its gun, and for the Stryker vehicle, that’s the M68 105mm cannon. A tube of forged steel will be hammered into the one of the most powerful and famous cannons in modern warfare – a mighty weapon which played a large role in the liberation of Kuwait from Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War, among countless other military stages.
S01:E08 - A Grenade Launcher, a Flight Simulator, and Ration Packs
In World War 1, the original grenade launchers were the infantrymen themselves. They both lit and lobbed the mini bombs from the trenches. They could throw the grenade 15 metres fairly accurately, but then would have to duck for cover to avoid the shrapnel from the explosion. Today’s version, made in Illinois, USA, has both range and precision. The M203 Grenade Launcher is a single shot launcher designed to attach under a rifle barrel. Using the latest technology, harmless bits of plastic and a block of aluminum will be melted, molded, and cut to create a snap-on weapon that increases the firepower in a soldier’s hands by a long shot.
S01:E09 - Jaws of Life, a Tank, and a Watch
A series of handcrafted, precision-cut pieces will come together to create a first response tool capable of chewing through metal like a can opener. At the scene of an accident, a natural disaster, or in the combat zone, the Jaws of Life can cut through just about anything to gain access to a victim – and pluck them from the jaws of death.
S01:E10 - An F16, a Sword, and Simulated Ammunition
Brainpower and firepower transform 8,000 kilograms of computer-controlled machinery into a legendary dogfighter with the best fight and flight record in the sky. The Lockheed Martin F16, known as “the Fighting Falcon”, is equally effective in air-to-air combat and air-to-ground attack. And at Mach 2, if you hear the F-16 coming, it’s already too late. Since its initial production in the 1970’s, over 4,500 F16’s have been produced for 28 different nations. For 40 years, the sky scrapper has proven to be the best fighter in and beyond its weight class. Defending its reputation as the dogfighter that does it all, the F16 is never coming down.
S01:E11 - Camouflage Makeup, a Machine Gun, and an Amphibious Military ATV
Developed from solidified vegetable oil, this military grade compound is a long way from department store concealer: it’s sweat proof, infrared resistant, and stays on in the drenching downpour. Applied to a soldier’s face, these globs of colour could paint him right out of the picture, and maybe save his life. Soldiers, especially Special Ops and snipers, wear camouflage uniforms to blend into the background. Camo paint completes their covert coverage, so they can get to their target before they become one.
S01:E12 - Combat Boots, a Pistol, a UAV, and a Riflescope
For the soldier, the army boot is more than protective footwear. From the parade ground to the battlefield, the boot is a symbol of discipline and determination that marches the soldier right through his military career. The Danner RAT – or Rugged All Terrain Boot - is designed for trudging through muddy swamps or treading the burning desert sand. At their Oregon, USA facility, every pair of boots are dunked in water and flexed 100 times, then have their steel toes tested with a massive force impact before they can be deemed tough enough to be worn by the military’s bravest.
S01:E13 - A Rugged Case, a Precision Aerial Delivery System, a Military Survival Shelter, and an Armoured Personnel Carrier
Polyethylene is measured and molded, heated and cooled to create a rugged and air-droppable case that’s tougher than the rest. Stronger, lighter, and more durable than their wooden predecessors, these keep out wind, rain, sand, and humidity to ensure that valuable supplies arrive intact.
S01:E14 - Swiss Army Knife, a Sub-Machine Gun, Body Armour, and a Laser Sight
An iconic knife that’s been an integral part of military culture for more than a hundred years, the Swiss Army Knife has been put in service around the world – and even in space. In a factory in the Swiss Alps, a machine exerting 40 tonnes of force punches the blades from strips of steel forged with chrome – a legendary blend which ensures a clean cut and a tool that’ll last a lifetime.