Feeds

US Army orders more Judge Dredd smartgun ammo

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.