XM-25 Grenade Launcher | Sci-Fi Weapons of Today

XM-25 Grenade Launcher

In battle, the warring sides always have recourse to refuge, duck, hide behind something or jump into a ditch, regardless of whether one has the upper hand or not. That strategy, and comfort, will forever change when the XM-25 grenade launcher is finally deployed in full, much to the chagrin of all uniformed men fated to armed combat. The XM-25, or Punisher, as American soldiers in Afghanistan testing the weapon in combat situations have affectionately dubbed it, weighs about 6kg (13lb) and fires a 25mm round, which makes it sound kind of ordinary, but it is anything but ordinary. The deadly beauty of this nasty contraption is that there need not be a direct hit, the projectile is programmed to detonate as it whizzes past you in your hiding place and take your head off. The US Army wanted an initial 1,400 XM-25 systems with plans for 10,876 units, two per infantry squad and one per special forces team later on, but an accident in 2013 during a training event has stalled all that, at least until the glitches are sorted out. A hefty punch is not the only thing the XM-25 packs, the price tag itself is pretty deadly: At $35,000 a pop and $1,000 per projectile (hand-made, though the price is expected to drop considerably when in full production) Uncle Sam had better make sure this wondrous technology does not end up in the hands of a foe.

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