Lighter, More-Lethal Weapons Systems for US Army

25 May 2009 (Last Updated May 25th, 2009 18:30)

The US Army has announced details of two new precision-oriented, light and lethal weapons currently in development for the US Army. The laser-sighted XM-25 counter defilade target engagement system and the lightweight .50-calibre machine gun (LW50MG) are the two new weapons that are exp

The US Army has announced details of two new precision-oriented, light and lethal weapons currently in development for the US Army.

The laser-sighted XM-25 counter defilade target engagement system and the lightweight .50-calibre machine gun (LW50MG) are the two new weapons that are expected to increase troop effectiveness, especially in Afghanistan.

The semi-automatic, shoulder-fired XM-25 with a five-round magazine of 25mm dual-warhead ammunition weighs about 14lb (as an M-16 with a 203 grenade launcher) yet it's only a few inches longer than an M-4 Carbine.

Soldier weapons, deputy programme manager Richard Audette, said that the technology behind the XM-25 is a leap ahead because it's the first smart weapon system with a smart round in small weapons.

"The evaluations this summer will test accuracy and effectiveness, and because it's a completely different type of weapon system its use will call for different tactics," Audettte said.

LW50-calibre machine gun with tripod weighs in at 64 pounds – half what the M-2 .50-calibre heavy machine gun weighs.

With the modified M-145 machine-gun optic, the LW50MG will be more accurate and quicker for its target because it will also have 60% less recoil than the M-2 machine gun.

Also, the LW50MG tripod spade grips won't have to be slammed into the ground and sandbagged to hold the weapon in place.

The XM-25 will undergo field testing this summer while the LW50MG is already being tested by soldiers.