After years of research, missile production company Orbital ATK announced on Tuesday soldiers in the U.S. Army will start testing semi-automatic grenade launchers in the battlefield.
Called the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE), the cutting-edge gun is expected to provide the military with unparalleled protection as early as 2016. The XM25, according to the gun’s creator, will be used to defeat enemy combatants who are hiding behind “walls, dug into foxholes or hidden in hard-to-reach places.”
“The CDTE is a direct-fire, semi-automatic, shoulder- fired, man-portable weapon system,” Orbital ATK wrote in an additional press release. “An individual Soldier employing basic rifle marksmanship skills can effectively engage exposed or defilade targets in less than five seconds.”
Enemies located over 1,640-feet away from American soldiers will now be in the danger zone when Army troops packing XM25s are around. The revolutionary grenade launching gun increases the probability of taking out a target from 300 to 500 percent due to high-explosive, airburst ammunition, according to Orbital ATK’s press release.
Soldiers will just need to aim the gun, which will activate a laser rangefinder, and with the pull of the trigger, a precisely-targeted grenade will launch. (RELATED: Remote-Controlled Weapon Towers Could Be The Future Of Military Base Security)
When an enemy soldier is hiding, the laser rangefinder can be programmed to focus on the target at a farther distance — up to 2,300 feet. This maximum strength setting, called the M203 setting, will be strong enough to wipe-out targets hiding behind protection, like walls and foxholes, with mid-air explosions.
The Army previously used grenade gun prototypes in Afghanistan back in 2010, Engadget.com reported. But these second-generation models are more powerful, precise and state-of-the-art than anything previously available.