WASHINGTON: Buried in a bleak Army budget is a bright nugget of revolution: a precision-guided grenade launcher called the XM25. In difficult development for over a decade, the XM25 will finally enter limited production in 2017. It will be the first radically new small arms technology since 1943. “This has the potential to be a huge game changer for infantry combat. Once it gets into the hands of more troops, they can start experimenting and adapting tactics,” military futurist Paul Scharre believes. Germany fielded the first mass-produced assault rifle, the StG 44, in 1943 putting the power of a (scaled down) machinegun in the hands of a rank-and-file rifleman. The Russians followed with their AK-47, the Americans with the M-16. Against such ever-increasing firepower, the best defense was simply to take cover. Now the XM25 comes to destroy the value of cover.
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