WASHINGTON (AFP) – It looks and acts like something best left in the hands of Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo,” but this latest dream weapon is real — and the US Army sees it becoming the Taliban’s worst nightmare.
The Pentagon has rolled out prototypes of its first-ever programmable “smart” grenade launcher, a shoulder-fired weapon that uses microchipped ammunition to target and kill the enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind walls or other cover.
After years of development, the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, about the size of a regular rifle, has now been deployed to US units on the battlefields of Afghanistan, where the Army expects it to be a “game-changer” in its counterinsurgency operations.
“For well over a week, it’s been actively on patrols, and in various combat outposts in areas that are hot,” said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lehner, program manager for the XM25.
The gun’s stats are formidable: it fires 25mm air-bursting shells up to 2,300 feet (700 meters), well past the range of most rifles used by today’s soldiers, and programs them to explode at a precise distance, allowing troops to neutralize insurgents hiding behind walls, rocks or trenches or inside buildings.
With Afghan control by 2014, Obama sees combat end]
“This is the first time we’re putting smart technology into the hands of the individual soldier,” Lehner told AFP in a telephone interview. Previous grenade launchers needed to arc their shells over cover and land near the target to be effective.
I still say sending ground troops is an outdated concept to begin with. bomb them