XM-25 'Judge Dredd' Rifle For Special Forces

The XM-25 'smart rifle' will be given to US special forces units in Afghanistan, according to reports. The XM-25 individual air burst weapon fires 25mm shells which are equipped with precision electronic timing fuses that can be set at the time of firing by the gun's systems.

(XM25 Individual Air Burst Weapon)

"When you have something that you can set the distance where it explodes - that takes their defenses away - it's essentially like carrying a mortar tube, but it's in a rifle format and it's something that any Soldier can use," said Sergeant Christopher Shupe, lately returned from a combat tour in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division. The sergeant was quoted by Military.com, during a briefing for reporters held yesterday by US Army weaponry chiefs...

There are plans to add a wide variety of 25mm rounds for the XM-25: a shaped armour penetrator, flash-bang stun warhead, door-breaching charge. There's also to be an "anti personnel" round: in the US military that normally means an artillery shell which throws a cloud of smaller projectiles - either metal balls ("canister") or finned darts ("flechette" or "beehive"). The XM-25 version could function like a shotgun, simply throwing the shot or flechettes out of the end of the barrel for maximum closeup firepower, or it could use the gun's airburst capability and deliver a spread of projectiles at long range.

Some readers may recall weapons like the Lawgiver, used by Judge Dredd.

Judge Dredd, one of relatively few sci-fi gunmen to stick mainly with projectiles rather than moving to rayguns of some kind, does a bit better. Placing Justice Department boot to perp arse on the mean streets of Mega-City One, he uses implausibly reliable voice commandware to select different types of ammo for his Lawgiver pistol. In some of the stories he had extremely exotic rounds available, too - rubber ricochet bullets for tricky bank shots, high-explosive warheads, even infrared heat-seekers. But mostly it was just bullets.

(Judge Dredd with Lawgiver)

Via The Register; thanks to thanks to Winchell Chung (aka @nyrath on Twitter).

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