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Friday, May 29, 2009

'Judge Dredd' weapon may come to life

Fri, 29 May 2009 | PressTV

The high-tech weapon does not require a soldier to visually follow his target.

The idea behind a weapon used in a Sylvester Stallone movie comes to realize as the US Army moves to test a new high-tech weapon used against targets out of line of sight.

The computerized, projectile launcher, the XM-25 Individual Air Burst Weapon nicknamed the "Judge Dredd" gun after a Stallone movie, is a shoulder-weapon that uses laser beams to precisely target and destroy objects and people.

"The way a soldier operates this is you basically find your target, then laze to it, which gives the range, then you get an adjusted aim point, adjust fire and pull the trigger," deputy program manager Richard Audette told Army News Service, according to a FOX News report on Thursday.

"Say you've lazed out to 543 meters ... when you pull the trigger it arms the round and fires it 543 meters plus or minus a one-, two- or three-meter increment, then it explodes over the target."

The lightweight XM-25 "smart weapon" would allow the soldier wielding it aim to a spot near the target and have a fused grenade explode exactly at the targeted area.

"For example, in Iraq we had many instances where there was a sniper firing from a rooftop and you have a squad trying to engage that target, but the soldiers couldn't get to him with the weapons they had, so they'd call in the Air Force to drop a JDAM (joint direct attack munition)," said Audette. "We can take out the target at $25 per XM round as opposed to a $20,000 to $50,000 JDAM."

German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch and the US company Alliant Techsystems (ATK Corporation) have jointly developed the smart gun.
The weapon comes with five-round magazine and weighs in at around 14 pounds (6.3kg) - about the same weight as an M-16. It is equipped with a 203 grenade launcher.

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