By lex, on November 17th, 2010
Concealment is important for an ambush. But once the shooting starts, or in a stand-up fight, I’m told that soldiers vastly prefer cover to concealment. The army’s XM-25 Counter Defilade Targeting Engagement System (who comes up with these klunkers?) is going to make even cover a little harder to come by:
The XM25 — which is not much bigger than a standard service rifle — fires 25 mm rounds that can be programmed to explode on impact, in front of or behind an object. The weapon allows soldiers to kill enemies hiding behind walls or other cover by firing above, or to the side, of the wall from up to 700 meters away.
“We call it a game changer,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, the project manager for the XM25 with Program Executive Office Soldier. “From the dawn of direct-fire weapons, soldiers have always been taught if you’re getting shot at or something is being thrown at you, get behind cover, whether it is your shield or a wall. We are essentially taking cover away from the enemy forever with this.”
On the not-so-groovy side, the army claims it will take five seconds to determine the target’s range, set the sight, program the round and fire the weapon. Which would seem like an awfully long time to stand still while the bad ‘uns are shooting at you, if that’s the way it’s to be employed.
The Army plans on purchasing more than 12,500 XM25 systems at about $25,000 to 35,000 apiece starting in 2012, which will be enough to put one in each of the Army’s infantry squads and Special Forces teams, according to Lehner.
The Marines, meanwhile, are looking to restrict further spending on their ground forces.