US army to start testing shoulder-fired smart grenade launcher that can take out hidden targets

By midian182
Oct 14, 2015
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  1. Early next year, the US Army plans to begin testing a smart grenade launcher - officially called the XM25 Counter Defilade Engagement System - that can hit enemy targets even when they are shielded by cover.

    Designed by Virginia-based rocket systems manufacturer Orbital ATK, the shoulder-fired XM25 has a built in ‘target acquisition and fire control system’ that the company says increases a soldier’s hit probability out to roughly 1600 feet by 300 to 500 percent.

    The system allows any soldier with basic shooting skills to fire the rifle effectively, thanks to its laser rangefinder and smart software which determines the precise distance to a target. The soldier can add or subtract from that distance in order to clear obstacles, and the fire control computer gives the user a new aiming point to put the round on target, as well as setting the fusing of the grenade in the chamber. The shell is programmed to airburst above any enemies that may be behind cover, making it particularly useful when targeting any hostiles inside trenches.

    In addition to the targeting and fire control system, the XM25 also features a 2 X thermal site with zoom, 2 X direct view optic, digital compass and environmental sensors.

    In development since 2010, a handful of early prototype XM25s were used in Afghanistan to test their performance in live combat situations. PEO Soldier Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lehner, project manager for the system, said: “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.”

    Orbital ATK claims the XM25 can accurately hit a ‘point target’ from 1,640 feet and hit targets with a mid-air explosion at roughly 2300 feet. The semi-automatic launcher – built by German weapons company Heckler & Koch – can carry five 25 millimeter shells per clip. In addition to the high-explosive airburst shells currently used in the weapon, its makers say they are also developing less-than-lethal, armor-piercing and door breaching rounds for the XM25.

    Check out the video below to see the XM25 in action.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,349   +1,944

    Will it be able to take out doctors, nursing staff and patients in neutral hospitals as well?
    dms96960 and lripplinger like this.
  3. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 820   +389

    Going by all the war efforts and effect of those engagements, some might say that's the key goal.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,144   +486

    I remember playing with this weapon in BF4. That air-burst was indeed useful taking out those campers.
    Techman3 likes this.
  5. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Guru Posts: 365   +81

    Yeah, it's incredibly useful in taking out people behind corners and whatnot. The Army's going to love it, I'm sure.
  6. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 624   +147

    Doesn't look cool, mortars do the same but it looks like a great weapon. What's gonna happen is we will send 1000 of them to our allies...whoever they are these days....and the enemy can then store them in their our (their) military vehicles
    dms96960 likes this.
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,349   +1,944

    It's inexcusable and unjustifiable but it is war, and good propaganda for the opposition. Being a green beret in our defence force for 12 years many years ago I've seen and been part of some the atrocities we committed, it's never pleasant no matter how used to it you become, in fact it's something that no normal person can ever become used to, just philosophical about it.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 908   +245

    Seems to be the going trend...

    Hopefully that optic will get smaller, seems quite large for what little it offers. Considering my $200 camcorder has 36x optical zoom at 1920x1080, which probably looks better than their 2x offering. 2x Thermal is helpful but then the FOV will be so limited. I'd rather high resolution 1x thermal to detect targets quickly, then use optical camera with big zoom to ID and engage.

    Oh and it is a magazine, not a clip.
  9. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Posts: 253   +28

    Do I need to pass a background check to get one of these?
  10. j05hh

    j05hh TS Booster Posts: 138   +22

    It's effective in Bf4
  11. OgnDulk

    OgnDulk TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +6

    In the future our troops will have so much hi-tech expensive gear that we'll only be able to afford thousands but the pentagon will demand more "protection" money to enlarge our forces beyond the bloated number we already have.
  12. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 280   +86

    If the soldier firing it can stay in cover as well, then the days of sighting and verifying the target seem to be over. Which is a little worrying. Not a big deal in BF4 but slightly more important when fighting for real in a residential area.
  13. Underdog

    Underdog TS Member Posts: 20   +16

    Coming soon to a police departement near you!

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