The Pentagon has rolled out prototypes of the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, the first-ever programmable "smart" grenade launcher. The shoulder-fired weapon uses microchipped ammunition to target and kill the enemy, even when enemy is hidden behind walls or other cover.
The weapon has now been deployed to U.S. units on the battlefields of Afghanistan, where the Army expects it to be a "game-changer" in its counterinsurgency operations.
The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System is capable of shooting air-bursting 25-millimeter projectiles out to 750 meters. The weapon’s target acquisition system calculates the range to a target and transfers the data to the electronic fuse built into the 25-millimeter round. When fired, the projectile is designed to explode directly above a target, raining shrapnel down on an enemy crouched behind cover.
The XM25 now costs about $30,000 each, and will likely cost $25,000 each by the time the Army begins fielding it in 2013.