"Smart" Grenade Launcher Coming to US Army

By Gary Cutlack on at

An upgraded form of grenade launcher is set to undergo final tests before entering service with the US military, with the apparently "smart" XM-25 grenade launcher coming with a plethora of features designed to make sure no one can pick up its bombs and lob them back.

The primary feature is a range-setting tool, which adjusts the trigger time of the projectile. This means the launcher can estimate the distance to a target and ensure the payload explodes as soon as it arrives by popping as soon as it crashes through a window, bringing new levels of speed and efficiency – and exciting video game-like features – to the art of clearing bad people out of derelict buildings.

Not only that, but this smart launcher has a laser rangefinder that gives the shooter advice on how high to aim to compensate for the pull of gravity, opening up a maximum potential range of 700 metres, with enemies at the extreme end of its range experiencing a blast strong enough to flatten them. It may also function as a music player, but that's not been made official yet.

An earlier version of the weapon was combat-trialled in Afghanistan in 2013, but withdrawn after it was implicated in an accident that injured one of the good guys. [Defense News via BBC]