New US Army rifles to use radio controlled bullets in Afghanistan

The U.S. army is to begin using a futuristic rifle that fires radio-controlled 'smart' bullets in Afghanistan for the first time, it has emerged.

The XM25 rifle uses bullets that be programmed to explode when they have travelled a set distance, allowing enemies to be targeted no matter where they are hiding.

The rifle also has a range of 2,300 feet making it possible to hit target which are well out of the reach of conventional rifles.

The XM25 is being developed specially for the U.S. army and will be deployed with troops from later this month, it was revealed today.

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The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System has a range of roughly 2,300 feet - and is to be deployed in Afghanistan this month

The rifle's gunsight uses a laser rangefinder to determine the exact distance to the obstruction, after which the soldier can add or subtract up to 3 metres from that distance to enable the bullets to clear the barrier and explode above or beside the target.

Soldiers will be able to use them to target snipers hidden in trenches rather than calling in air strikes.

The 25-millimetre round contains a chip that receives a radio signal from the gunsight as to the precise distance to the target.

Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the system, described the weapon as a ‘game-changer’ that other nations will try and copy.

He expects the Army to buy 12,500 of the XM25 rifles this year, enough for every member of the infantry and special forces.

Lehner told FoxNews: ‘With this weapon system, we take away cover from [enemy targets] forever.

‘Tactics are going to have to be rewritten. The only thing we can see [enemies] being able to do is run away.’

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Experts say the rifle means that enemy troops will no longer be safe if they take cover

The XM25 appears perfect weapon for street-to-street fighting that troops in Afghanistan have to engage in, with enemy fighters hiding behind walls and only breaking cover to fire ocasionally.

The weapon's laser finder would work out how far away the enemy was and then the U.S. soldier would add one metre using a button near the trigger. When fired, the explosive round would carry exactly one metre past the wall and explode with the force of a hand grenade above the Taliban fighter.

The army's project manager for new weapons, Douglas Tamilio, said: ''This is the first leap-ahead technology for troops that we've been able to develop and deploy.'

A patent granted to the bullet's maker, Alliant Techsystems, reveals that the chip can calculate how far it has travelled.

Mr Tamilio said: 'You could shoot a Javelin missile, and it would cost £43,000. These rounds will end up costing £15.50 apiece. They're relatively cheap.

Lehner added: ‘This is a game-changer. The enemy has learned to get cover, for hundreds if not thousands of years.

‘Well, they can't do that anymore. We're taking that cover from them and there's only two outcomes: We're going to get you behind that cover or force you to flee.’

The rifle will initially use high-explosive rounds, but its makers say that it might later use versions with smaller explosive charges that aim to stun rather than kill.

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One of the revolutionary bullets which can be pre-programmed to explode to hit troops that are hiding

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  • Math
  • November 30, 2010, 2:54 am
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  • 2

    Experts are already working on the XM26, with the same properties as the XM25 but designed to look less like a tool for artificially inseminating horses.

    • Ruleb
    • December 2, 2010, 1:09 pm
  • 1

    Call it smart all you want,I'm British and if it's a yank firing that thing, I'm getting the hell out of his way

    Lol I'll leg you up on my way past!
    - Math November 30, 2010, 11:49 am
  • 1


    Lets see, a range of 2300ft translates to about 760 yards, which is less than or equal to most rifles firing the 7.62 NATO, but grater than the M16(effective reange of around 500 yards) and the M4 and AK-74(about 300 yards) and way better than the AK-47(200 yards).

    I wonder if the 25mm will replace the 40mm? because the 40mm only has an efective range of 350 yards.

    Might want to check those #s there Bob. With the 62grain 5.56 (M16/M4) bullet also known as M855 we are able to hit people at 800m. Also it is common for us to make effective hits at 1000+m with the M24 rifles that fire the 175 grain 7.62 NATO also known as the M118LR. I have a lot of trigger time and am very familiar with what our weapon systems are capable of.
    - yourmomisawhore December 31, 2010, 10:57 am
    I should have been more specific, by "effective range" I mean against point targets. So yes, the M16 has a range of 800 yards for area targets, but not point targets. Furthermore, I said that "760 yards is equal to or less than 7.62mm weapons" meaning that some weapons (M24) can have a grater range.

    Though, now that I think of it, I doubt the article would site the XM25's range against point targets, as it is a grenade launcher. So maybe area target ranges would have been a better comparison.
    - BobTheJanitor December 31, 2010, 3:11 pm
  • 1

    "If we can figure out new ways to kill each other, why the hell can't we figure out how to end this stupid war?"

  • 1

    Wow more ingenious ways to kill each other, whoop de do.
    Just what we needed.

    The battle of offense and defense is a battle that is old as time itself. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but this game is not going anywhere. While no one wants to kill anyone, you should try and admire it for the technological achievement that it is. While I hope we never have to use any atomic weapons for war, I do respect the accomplishment, wonder and pure power that it is.
    - johnecash December 2, 2010, 12:24 pm
    I respect the intelligence and engineering needed to make all of the tools of war but i do not respect what they are used for, and i know that sadly human nature tends to entail violence somewhere along the line but we won't stop that or lessen that by thinking of more efficent ways of killing each other.
    - HippyBoy December 4, 2010, 3:35 am
    Remember the point of war is not to kill you enemy, but to kill his will to fight. One way to deter him from fighting is to have the biggest and the baddest. Another way is to give him no place to hide. Very few people will get into a fight they have no chance in.
    - johnecash December 10, 2010, 10:04 am
  • 1

    You'll never win anything using defence alone.

    A highly accurate and portable grenadelauncher isn't limited strictly to defensive warefare.
    - BobTheJanitor December 31, 2010, 3:15 pm
    Amen to that
    - Math December 31, 2010, 3:51 pm
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