There’s No Place to Hide from This Smart Grenade Launcher

The U.S. Army’s XM-25 “Punisher” can take out bad guys hiding behind cover

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.popularmechanics.com

The U.S. Army’s XM-25 Counter-Defilade Target Engagement System, also known as “The Punisher”, is in final development. Using a combination of “smart” grenades that explode in midair and a laser rangefinder, Punisher is capable of reaching and attacking enemy forces even when they’re hiding behind cover.  The system works like this: There’s a target popping out to fire from the concrete doorway of a building, only exposed for the few seconds it takes to fire off a shot. Enter the XM-25. All a soldier needs to do is take the range to the doorway, using the Punisher’s laser sight. Say, 204 meters.   Then, using the Punisher’s controls, he can set his grenade to explode at 205 meters. When the soldier aims his weapon inside the doorway and pulls the trigger, the 25-millimeter high-explosive grenade flies downrange and through the doorway—but instead of continuing on into the bowels of the building until it hits something, it airbursts one meter inside, just behind cover.  

The XM-25 consists of a five-round grenade launcher—made by German arms company Heckler and Koch, complete with a thermal sight to help gunners aim at nightand the “smart” grenades and fire control system, made by rocket manufacturer Orbital ATK. The Punisher can currently fire a high explosive airburst round, with armor piercing, less-than-lethal, and door breaching rounds planned for future development.  The system is not without its drawbacks. In 2013 while in being tested in the field in Afghanistan, an XM-25 operator suffered minor injuries when his weapon malfunctioned. That same year, U.S. Army Rangers also refused to take the weapon with them on a raid, citing the weapon’s 14 pound bulk and the small number of smart grenades it was issued with.  The weapon design is expected to be finalized very shortly, and depending on funding the Army could begin fielding the Punisher as early as 2017. It’s not a flawless weapon, but its cover busting skills are unique, impressive, and terrifying.

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