Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Army Spends Big on Smart Grenade Rifle

The Army is moving ahead smartly with its XM25 shoulder fired, semi-automatic 25mm grenade launcher with plans to spend $34 million on further development in 2011 and a production start slated for 2012, according to service budget documents. 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.

The XM25 could prove enormously useful to troops in Afghanistan battling Taliban insurgents that typically fire from the cover of tree lines and from behind mud walls. This is the first weapon, at least that I have seen, that could provide infantry with a lethal, accurate and effective grenade launcher that exceeds that of the ubiquitous RPGs carried by insurgent groups around the world.

One potential weakness I've noticed is that the XM25 only has a four round magazine. The Army believes the weapon's lethality will come from its pinpoint accuracy rather than rate of fire.


CA: Woman fires shot at suspected burglar, who flees: "A Modesto woman walked into her home this morning to find a suspected burglar and fired her gun at him before he fled the scene, authorities said. Modesto police received a call at 11:21 a.m. of a possible burglary in process on Kingfield Drive, which is northeast of the intersection of East Orangeburg and Sunrise avenues. "A female in her 40s came home to her residence and interrupted a burglary in process," said Sgt. Rick Armendariz, a police spokesman. "She was able to arm herself and when she confronted the suspect, she feared for her safety." Armendariz said she fired one shot, and there was no indication the suspect was hit. He then fled the scene.

OH: Teen shot in head during apparent home invasion: "Columbus police has named the teenage victim who was critically wounded by a gunshot to the head Sunday afternoon. Columbus police were called to the 1100 block of McCarley Drive at about 12:49 p.m. on reports of a shooting. Officers found 18-year-old Ronnie P. Dowell inside his Southwest Side apartment with a gunshot wound to the head. Dowell was transported to Mount Carmel Medical Center West in extremely critical condition. Investigation indicated a male suspect forced his way into a rear door of the residence and confronted the victim and two other residents, according to a police report. The report said shots were exchanged and the suspect fled the apartment."

TN: Grand jury clears man who shot burglary suspect outside neighbor's home: "A Kingsport man who faced an aggravated assault charge for shooting a fleeing burglary suspect outside a neighbor’s home has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. At the scene, Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson said McClanahan said he’d retrieved a .45-caliber handgun and went outside to investigate after hearing what sounded like glass breaking at his neighbor’s residence. “He felt someone was trying to break in,” Anderson had said. Once outside, McClanahan said he spotted a black Honda in the neighbor’s driveway “that didn’t belong there” and after walking over to a tree, he saw a man who “didn’t live there” walk out of the home. “McClanahan stated that he blocked the male from getting in his vehicle, held him at gunpoint, and called 911,” the narrative said. According to McClanahan’s account of what happened, Eads then said, “You got me,” and grabbed him by the wrist. The two wrestled, and a round fired into the air. That’s when McClanahan said he struck Eads in the head with the butt of the gun. According to the narrative, “McClanahan stated that the male got into the vehicle, and as he was attempting to flee, he shot out the tires, and as the vehicle was leaving down Pratt Road, McClanahan fired another round, he believed shot out the back glass of the vehicle.” Eads was located a short time later at his parents’ residence at 2530 N. Holston River Drive Extension. He was released from the hospital several weeks after the shooting"

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