Thursday, October 14, 2010

Computerized Grenade Launcher Heads to Afghanistan

It looks like a piece of riot-control gear. It's got a computerized in-board targeting system. It can kill someone from 2,300 feet away, while he takes cover. And it's on its way to the 101st Airborne Division and Special Forces units in the Afghanistan war.

The XM-25 grenade launcher shoots a 25 mm high-explosive round that's basically a "smart" grenade. What makes it smart? Sensors and microchips inside the round talks to the gun's guidance system, known as the Target Acquisition Fire Control unit, to learn where and when to explode, minimizing the likelihood of collateral damage.

Need to take out an insurgent who's popping out from behind a clay wall? Set the guidance for the distance to the wall and adjust a bit more for his body's position and fire — actually using Plus and Minus buttons on the side of the gun. Watch the round release bursts of shrapnel right over him. You can't do that with a regular mortar tube, even if you were able to shoot the mortar like a gun.

Read more at Computerized-grenade-launcher-heads-to-afghanistan

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