February 11, 2010
Production of the Army's XM25 shoulder-fired, semi-automatic
25mm grenade launcher is slated to start in 2012.
The Army is moving ahead with its XM25 shoulder fired, semi-automatic 25mm grenade launcher. It plans to spend $34 million on further development in 2011. Production is slated to start in 2012. The Army plans to buy at least 12,500 of the weapons beginning in 2012, enough to put one in each infantry squad and special forces team, according to PEO Soldier.
The futuristic looking XM25 fires a “smart” High Explosive Airburst round out to around 600 meters. The smart round is a “counter defilade” round, designed to blast enemy infantry taking cover behind walls, cars, in trenches as well as enemy fighters dumb enough to be standing out in the open. The Army calls the weapon a “leap ahead” technology.
The XM25 uses a laser rangefinder to target the enemy, then the weapon’s micro-computer accounts for air pressure, temperature and the 25mm round’s ballistics, feeds that information to a microchip in the round itself programming it to detonate directly over the target. With a 600 meter effective range, it would provide small teams greatly enhanced lethality well beyond that of rifles and machine guns. The Army claims that tests showed the XM25 with the high-explosive round is 300 percent more lethal than current squad level weapons.
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