Feeds

US Army orders more Judge Dredd smartgun ammo

Shoots-round-corners computer rifle gets another $24m

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The US Army has assigned an extra $24m of funding to the futuristic XM-25, a high tech personal weapon which can hit and kill an enemy even if he is hiding behind a rock, in a trench or round a corner.

The XM-25 in action in Afghanistan. Credit: PEO Soldier

Just shoot him, Kowalski, stop waiting for him to hide first

The XM-25 can do this because it doesn't fire ordinary bullets but small 25mm-calibre exploding shells whose precision time fuses are set wirelessly by the gun's systems at the moment of firing. This, combined with the weapon's accurate laser rangefinder and computing gunsight, allows its user to make the shells explode above an enemy's head if he is behind a rock or a wall, showering him with deadly shrapnel despite his frontal hard cover. Likewise a target around a corner can be hit by making the shell explode in the right place.

Lead manufacturer ATK, building the XM-25 in partnership with other firms including Heckler & Koch and L-3, landed a $66m deal from the Army in April to move the weapon into production following successful field trials in Afghanistan using prototypes. Yesterday, ATK said it had been awarded a further $24m for "additional ammunition, hardware, test and analysis to support further user assessments of the XM-25".

We also learn that the XM-25, which has had many official names, is now known as the Individual Semi-Automatic Airburst System (ISAAS).

Apart from the normal airburst-frag rounds, various other types of ammo are contemplated for the XM-25. Programme officials have spoken in the past of shaped-charge armour piercing warheads, plastic or rubber riot projectiles, airbursting flash-crash stun bombs, door breachers and anti-personnel (shot or flechettes). There has even been speculation that a tiny fuel-air bunker buster, well suited to the gun's airburst capabilities, could be on the cards. This array of ammo types, combined with a selection system driven by a topical iPhone style voice assistant, would deliver a Judge Dredd style capability – hence our own moniker for the XM-25. (Sadly at the moment one must change ammo types by swapping magazines like any primitive.)

At the moment, with regular production not yet underway, every round of ammo for the XM-25 must be expensively custom made. This probably explains much of the need for the extra cash awarded yesterday, so as to allow more trials and tests to continue. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Och aye! It's the Loch Ness Monster – but only Apple fanbois can see it
Fondleslab-friendly beastie's wake spotted... OR WAS IT?
Japanese boffin EYES up big bucks with strap-on digi-glasses
AgencyGlass saddles user with creepy OLED display
Sleuths find nosy NORKS drones on the Chinternet
UAVs likely to have been made in the Middle Kingdom
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Dorian Nakamoto gets $23,000 payout over Bitcoin invention saga
Maintains he didn't create cryptocurrency, but will join community
Pirate Bay's 10 millionth upload: Colour us shocked, a SMUT FLICK
P2P badboys show online piracy is alive and humping
Teen girl arrested with 70-year-old man's four inch weapon inside her
Charged with introducing .22 snubbie to penile facility. It wasn't firing blanks
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.