U.S. army's XM-25 soon be seen combating in Afghanistan
Melbourne, Nov 19: Coming directly from the sci-fi movie, the US army has the a lethal combination of technology and explosives-XM-25-that fires highly specialized rounds that can be programmed to explode at the precise location where the enemy is hiding behind cover.
Though the XM-25 has tested well in the United States, military brass will be watching the weapon's performance in real-life combat to assess not only how well it performs, but also what weapons it might end up replacing.
"This weapon makes our forces more lethal, it makes them more effective and it keeps them safer," ABC News quoted Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, the project manager for individual weapons at Program Executive Office Soldier, which developed the XM-25.
"This is the first time that we've put smart technology in the weapons system for the individual soldier," he said.
Crouching behind his own cover, a U.S. soldier armed with the XM-25 can point his weapon at the wall behind which the enemy is hiding to get the precise distance.
The rounds, which come four to a magazine plus one in the chamber, can then be programmed to travel just a short distance behind that to explode precisely where the insurgent is believed to be hiding.
With the scope aimed at the top of the wall, the round will fire and explode before impact, at the precise location programmed by the soldier, raining a hail of explosives and fragments on to the enemy.
It all takes mere seconds-five to program and fire, two for travel.
The rounds also take into account air pressure and temperature to accurately hit their marks.
"Our soldiers can stay behind cover and shoot this weapon at the enemy who's behind cover and we can take him out. But they can't take us out because we're behind cover and they don't have this weapon," said Lehner.ehner said the weapons would be in combat within days, before the end of the month, though he declined to reveal exactly where they would be used.
Dan Goure, vice president of the Arlington, Va.- based think tank, the Lexington Institute, said the XM-25 goes a long way toward correcting what he sees as major deficiencies in military operations.
"What we had not spent a lot of time working on was the equipment, personal equipment, guns and weapons for the dismounted soldiers," he said.
Goure, who served on the 2001 Department of Defense transition team, praised the ability of the weapon to be useful both in urban settings and caves.
"The nice thing about it is I don't have to carry two or three different weapons or two or three different shells," Goure said. "It's certainly an important step forward because it provides much heavier firepower to the dismounted squad and that's hugely important."
But he questioned whether the rounds were high-powered enough, opining that the small rounds may have limited explosive capacity.
"Is it going to be enough or do you need still a heavier duty" weapon? he asked.
"You'd like something that might be a bit longer-range, a bit heavier in explosive power."
"Short of that, it is pretty good," he said.
Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com