'Smart weapon' rifle debuts on Afghanistan's battlefields
November 17th, 2010
09:26 PM ET

'Smart weapon' rifle debuts on Afghanistan's battlefields

Some U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are using a “smart weapon” rifle that the Army hopes will be a "gamechanger" on the battlefield.

About the size of a regular rifle, the XM25 Counter Defilade Targeting Engagement System has the potential to neutralize an enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind buildings or other barriers, said Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the XM25 with Program Executive Office Soldier.

The weapon can be set so that bullets will explode either on impact, in front or behind an object, depending on the way the weapon is programmed, said Lehner.

A soldier can use it to target and kill an enemy hiding behind walls, in a home, or other barrier from nearly 2,300 feet away, he said.

"In the hands of a soldier trained for only a few minutes, he was able to adjust the systems, get the range of a target, launch it and hit them dead-on," he said.

"They were hitting a steel target silhouette at 503 meters away. They didn't even have to be that precise, but the weapon was that precise. And we found they were hitting right center mass, time after time after time."

The weapon also makes allowances for different outside conditions.

"One of the biggest challenges our soldiers face with our current weapons, at the squad level - they have a hard time determining range with their naked eye and adjusting their aim point off of the range and the wind and atmosphere," Lehner said.

"Whether it's cold or hot that day it will fly different. But this fire control system on the XM, takes into consideration all of these things and gives you a crosshair of where to aim."

The military hopes the precise nature of the weapon will mean less civilian casualties.

"It's not going to accidentally go to the next house down and mistakenly explode," Lehner said.

"There are times within the history of small arms and even large arms, that there's a revolutionary step, there's a leap ahead," he said. "When the British premiered their first tanks in World War I the Germans didn't even know how to defend against them.”

That kind of leap can sometimes be the thing that swings the battle, Lehner said. 

“That's what we're hoping to do with this weapon.”

Post by:
Filed under: Troops • Weapons
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Americal

    It sounds to me that we have a bunch of arm chair generals and back room theorist/statesmen; that have put down their controllers and stopped playing their 360 war games just long enough to embarrass themselves. Thank god you are not in charge of the military nor Washington. Unfortunately you still can bred and vote.

    November 28, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • mudbone9

      Right on Americal. I read about 60% of all these idiot’s comments in here. The Army is well aware of the problems with the M16 in Vietnam. That is why they are only deploying a limited amount for testing. I also think it is fantastic that the US Army is getting this weapon. I hope it proves to be the "Game Changer" they are predicting. Make the Taliban and Al Qaeda die for their delusional cause rather than our soldiers. I say Taliban, Taliban, Taliban, BAM, DEAD!

      November 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LarryKegel(US Army)

    It is to bad We didn't have these in Vietnam and Korea!!! Things might of been different then...

    November 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Humorous!

      November 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mjazzguitar

    Westboro Baptist Church are Democrats.

    November 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dindy.....

    Muslims have a history of attacking the Buddhists temples in India like Buddha Gaya, The university of Nalanda etc. Also the Bamien Statues on silk Road Afghanistan. Why call innocent Muslims. ??

    November 19, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dindy.....

    DAN IN LAFAYETTE IN..
    VERY WELL WRITTEN BROTHER. GOOD POST. SOME PEOPLE PRETEND LIKE THEY ARE DEAD AND BORN SO THEY DONT REMEMBER ANYTHING HAPPENED IN THE PAST OR THEY TRY TO MAKE EXCUSES APPLYING MORE NONSENSE TO COVER 9/11. AND THE INCIDENTS BEFORE FOR A LONG LONG TIME.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Dindy,I want to remind you that I have absolutely no use for this obnoxious war nor the unnecessary bloodshed caused by the NATO forces over there as we have no right to be there in the first place!

      November 19, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Balderdash.

        November 21, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dindy.....

    SANITY..........
    WELL WRITTEN. GOOD POST. THANK YOU FOR BEING THERE ALL THESE YEARS, SO THE PEOPLE BACK HOME WERE PROTECTED .

    November 19, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. BANGASH

    SMART WEAPON, ANOTHER ADDITION, AND INTRODUCTION OF DEADLY WEAPON, ON AFGHAN SOIL. IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN THREE DECADES BACK ONLY 10% OF POPULATION HAD A BRITISH MADE 303 SEMI AUTOMATIC RIFLES AS THE ONLY MAJOR WEAPON WHILE 90% HAD NO WEAPON AT ALL. TODAY DURING LAST THREE DECADES US WARS HAS POURED ALL MAJOR WEAPONS IN THIS REGION INCLUDING STINGER MISSILES AND NOW THIS LATEST SMART WEAPON. BASIC ISSUE IS US INTENTIONS WHICH INDICATE MORE WARS IN THIS REGION AND THESE TALKS OF NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT OF THE ISSUE IS JUST DECEPTION OF US PUBLIC OPINION AND AFGHANS THEREFORE AMERICANS WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THE COFFINS OF THEIR LOVED ONE FROM AFGHAN SOIL WHILE AFGHANS AND PAKISTANIS WILL KEEP ON KILLING EACH OTHER TILL ALL ARE DEAD OR COMPLETELY SUBJUGATED. HERE IN THIS REGION WARS ARE NOW BUSINESS THEREFORE AMERICA WILL NOW HAVE TO PAY FOR WHAT THEY HAVE SOWN IN THIS REGION AND THIS SMART WEAPON WILL FAIL THE WAY OTHERS HAVE BEEN FAILED. THE BETTER WAY WAS TO GET OUT OF THIS QUAGMIRE BUT PROBABLY HUMILIATING DEFEAT IS NOW FATE OF USA.

    November 19, 2010 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. Momofason

    If this weapon will save even one U.S. Soldier's life, then I am 100% for it!

    November 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Since this same weapon will slaughter more people needlessly,I'm 100% against it!!!

      November 19, 2010 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Fartknocker.

        November 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. U.S Student

    I bet there'll be a lot of singing and drinking on the streets of Washington tonight! But I'll be puking over the whole thing as more people stand to die needlessly in this obnoxious and useless war.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      I feel the same way you do,U.S Student. But like William Bendix used to say at the end of each show in "The Life of Reilly","What a revolting developpement this is!" and how true it is today!

      November 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Here is Curly and Larry where is Moe (Danie-2)

        November 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Good posting,Daniel. What William Bendix used to say certainly applies here like you say. By the way,don't pay any attention to Phunnie boy who posted the above.

        November 19, 2010 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Oh here he is (Onesmallpiece)

        November 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gary Johndro

    YABBA-DABBA-DOO-DOO-DOO!!! Now we get to kill more people than we could before! Hip,hip,hurray or should I say,Seig Heil??? Or maybe Bonsai!!! Which one should I say,Carole Clarke???

    November 18, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      I'm not Carole Clarke,but I say that you need not to say any of the above as we already have far too many stupid people cheering those ungodly weapons! I wonder whatever happened moral principles among the people,I guess that they just don't care anymore.

      November 18, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        What a limpdyck you are.

        November 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Please Phunnie boy,never mind the Tea Party lingo.

        November 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Entertaining!

        November 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    I guess that the right-wing thugs in Washington are quite happy today now that we can kill more people now than we could kill before. I bet there'll be a lot more blood flowing now and that makes me sick. No wonder they call ours a sick society!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • BANGASH

      DAN this is for which I usually criticize USA as wars are in the interest of few while whole humanity is faced with devastation. This is in way a service to Americans but main reason behind rising hate against Americans for their barbarism in the name of democracy and human rights. America needs these dollars to feed their own citizens or can utilize in human welfare projects in poor states to show their worth as true super power then forcing them through bombing to accept USA a military super power. I assure you DAN that like all deadly weapons, so far introduced during last three decades, by USA in this region, this smart weapon will also meet with failure and will pay for these merciless killing in this region.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        BANGASH,that was not me that wrote the above comment but I'll remind you that it was bin-Laden and his Islamic extremists who declared war on us and not just one time but three times and he and the terrorist that were training and planing attacks against America and it's interests were allowed safe haven by the Taliban in Afghanistan. We gave Omar time enough to give bin-Laden up but he did not and he got what he deserved but justice has yet to come for the way he and his cohorts treated the Afghan people along with him harboring terrorists! If Islam had not declared war on us and attacked the USS Cole, our Embassies in Africa and on 9/11 this would not be happening. What would you want us to do wave the white flag? OH AND I HOPE THIS NEW WEAPON KILLS ENOUGH OF THE RADICALS OF ISLAM THAT THEY KNEEL DOWN AND REPENT FOR THEIR MURDEROUS CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE FREEDOM LOVING PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN!!!

        November 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dindy.....

    Whoever use these weapons must be careful that it does not go to the hands of enemies . In Sri lanka ..terrorists stole many weapons from Sri lankan army in several occasions. We did not have stuff like this. Yet they were very useful for the enemy.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Honyak

    Sure sounds great on the test range at Aberdeen. Now what about in real life; downrange in a 130F duststorm with multiple badguys shooting back with old-school AK-47's & RPG's ? Will it stand up to sand, grit, exess carbon from continuous firing, multiple magazine reloads, shock from enemy fire, lack of lubrication, etc, etc, etc. This thing sounds like another Hollywood weapon. Remember the first M-16's in Vietnam failing & killing our GI's? The more complex it is...the easier it is to fail in combat. KISS... Keep It Simple, Stupid. That's why the AK-47 is so successfull. Just another example of how America is trying to win the war with Technology instead of her training soldiers to fight like warriors. ("there's only two of them sir, let's call an airstrike!") But that's what it's really all about, isn't it? More contracts for Boeing and the rest of the pack.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      Good post,Honyak. Thank you.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Sycophantic.

        November 21, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • InfOfcr

      If we're gonna follow the KISS principle, lets follow it. The BFR has a very short range, but it has proven HIGHLY effective and an absolute no fail rate when properly employed. It has several thousand years proven reliability! Yes folks, lets get rid of this ridiculous technology and invest in the "Big Freakin' Rock!" We can bonk'em on the head! Idiot!

      November 18, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Carole Clarke

    This seems to be one step away from firing a bullet that can go around corners then hit its target. In the film "Dune" the hero was targeted with a silent, self-propelled flying hypodermic filled with poison that could hover, search out its target then speed in for the kill. Life imitating art. Of course, then someone will make sure the enemy gets the same weapon and we are back to square one. Where we need to beat them is in the field of ideas.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      I bet you'll be singing to your heart's content Carole, while I'll be puking over it. Now we know where our hard earned tax dollars go! How sickening!!!

      November 18, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
      • George Patton

        I feel the same way you do,Bubba. Back in WW2,men had to be brave to fight as we didn't have all these "wonder weapons",then again,Washington wasn't ruled by right-wing thugs back then like it is today. How things change and sometimes for the worse!!!

        November 18, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
      • Sanity

        If America's bravest are sent overseas to fight, shouldn't they at least have the best weapons money can buy? When i deployed in '07, i wish i could have taken a gun that can blow up enemies hiding behind walls

        November 18, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • InfOfcr

        George Patton, I seriously doubt you served in WWII. There were TREMENDOUS technological advances in WWII that gave SIGNIFICANT advantages on the battlefield. Further, have you ever read anything about the politicians during WWII? Even the most liberal were pretty close to the conservatives of today. Finally, saying the Servicemen dont have to be brave today?!?! Not only are you insulting and ignorant, but you must think we are too. I'm willing to bet you are a 30 year old wanna be hero. Not buying you George Patton crap!

        November 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        Almost anybody can "fight bravely" Sanity,as long as they have all the odds stacked in their favor! All this bravado gets to be quite sickening after a while.

        November 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sanity

        I ask you Bubba...you said anyone can fight bravely with the odds stacked in their favor, then why does less than 1% of the population serve in the military, it must be easy according to you right? ...Let me tell you a little story that I am sure you probably never heard. It's about two United States Airmen that selflessly laid their lives on the line to rescue a navy seal that had fallen from a helicopter. They were outnumbered and surrounded by Taliban and foreign fighters, but they bravely fought for fellow Americans. They held off the insurgents long enough for the team to be rescued, with the cost of their lives. Willing to die for a fellow American is something I doubt you have ever considered. You disgust me when you say that servicemen/women only fight when the odds are stacked in their favor, shame on you. It's men like those two pararescuemen, myself and the other <1% serving in the military protecting your freedoms, and your right to say whatever you want.

        November 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ernie Beatty

        I'm with you Sanity,although this war has nothing to do with our rights or freedoms anymore than Vietnam did.

        November 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sanity

        I disagree Ernie. All Americans have the RIGHT to Life, Liberty, And the Pursuit of Happiness. The military has been protecting all Americans "RIGHT to Life" since our country was first formed. We took the war to the extremists on their own ground, lessening the chance for a domestic attack against our right to life.

        November 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Crapulent!

        November 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • john

        Hey Patton....not sure what you mean by right wing thugs running Washington. Apparently you have not noticed we have a liberal president along with a liberal Senate and the liberal House was just lost after 4 yrs? Sounds like you just want to label your security as being right wing thugery. I am sure in your world dialogue solves all problems huh? Sounds like you are also equating bravery with lack of technology? Wow, I hope one day you see how asinine your comments are!

        November 22, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
      • GIJim

        Bubba, you have got to be some sort of liberal, leftist pinko to think the way you do. I hope you appreciate the sacrifices that our young men and women afford to you that grants you the right to be so far off base. Did you scoff at the development of smart precision guided bombs- the same type of technology that we now emply in our own GPS devices?

        November 30, 2010 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Riza Afghan

      oh FUUCCK off Mr degrees SH!T.
      no one cares what you think, those American will definitely kill you all pakistani terrorists.

      Stay tuned, that SH!T will be used on you too. keep supporting Taliban, you will get one of those bullet very soon ;)

      November 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Come on Riza,you're obviously a Tea Party member but must you use their choice of words??? You Tea Partiers should become civilized.

      November 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |