Army’s first shoulder-fired “smart weapon” close to final test


Orbital ATK The XM25 is the Army’s first “smart” shoulder-fired weapon. “It launches 25mm dual-warhead, low velocity, flat trajectory ammunition designed to explode over a target,” as the Army describes it-allowing it to blow things and people up hidden behind cover. 4 more images in gallery Early next year, the US Army will begin acceptance testing of a weapon that seems like it’s straight out of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare:  the XM25 Counter Defilade Engagement System , a “smart” grenade launcher from Orbital Sciences subsidiary Orbital ATK. The XM25 is designed to be an “anti-defilade” weapon-its purpose is to allow soldiers to hit targets shielded by cover. The XM25 has a built-in “target acquisition and fire control system” that allows any soldier with basic rifleman skills to operate it effectively–the soldier points the weapon’s target selector down range, and a laser rangefinder determines how far away it is. The soldier can add additional distance to clear obstacles, and the fire control computer gives the soldier a new aiming point to put the round on target, as well as setting the fusing of the grenade in the chamber. The grenade doesn’t have to strike anything to explode, so it can detonate in the air over whatever or whoever might be hiding behind a vehicle, wall, or entrenchment. The XM25 has been in development since the middle of the last decade. Originally developed by Alliant TechSystems, which was acquired by Orbital Sciences. In 2010, the Army’s PEO Soldier program office sent prototypes of the XM25 to Afghanistan for “forward operational assessment”–use in actual combat to see how it performed. PEO Soldier’s Lt. Colonel Chris Lehner said in a post about the field tests that the “introduction of the XM25 is akin to other revolutionary systems such as the machine gun, the airplane and the tank, all of which changed battlefield tactics. No longer will our Soldiers have to expose themselves by firing and maneuvering to eliminate an enemy behind cover. Our Soldiers can remain covered/protected and use their XM25 to neutralize an enemy in his covered position. This will significantly reduce the risk of U.S. casualties and change the way we fight.” Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Army’s first shoulder-fired “smart weapon” close to final test


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