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Green Berets to get Judge Dredd computer smart-rifle

No need to shout out ammo type, though

A radical Judge Dredd style computer smart-rifle able to strike at enemies hiding around corners is to be issued to US special forces units in Afghanistan, according to reports.

The weapon in question is of course our old friend the XM-25, long under development by the US Army's weapons boffins. The main idea of the XM-25 is to provide so-called "counter defilade" capability for ordinary foot soldiers.

You can see a video here (Warning: ActiveX controls).

This is achieved by using a heavy 25mm bullet, big enough to pack a powerful explosive warhead but small enough that a shoulder weapon of acceptable weight and recoil can shoot it a long way. (Normal 40mm launched grenades are so heavy that they have to be shot at low velocity, which means short range.)

Then, the fat 25mm shell is equipped with a precision electronic time fuse which can be set at the moment of firing by the gun's systems. The gun itself has a laser rangefinder and computing sight.

This means that a soldier aiming at a corner around which an enemy lurks can ping the corner with his rangefinder and use a button on the trigger guard to adjust for a slightly longer range. The crosshairs in the sight adjust his elevation, compensating automatically not only for range but temperature and air pressure.

As the soldier squeezes the trigger, the time fuse in the grenade-bullet is set and the round flies out on a precise trajectory towards a point just beyond the corner, where it explodes in midair spraying lethal shrapnel into the hidden enemy.

Alternatively, the XM-25 can put an exploding round through a window into the centre of a room, or above the head of a target in a trench. Accurate range is 500m, or with less accuracy the weapon can shoot as far as 700m - and as most of the work is done by the computing sight, the user doesn't need to be an expert marksman to score hits at these long ranges.

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