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U.S. Army's 'Revolutionary' Rifle Now in Use in Afghanistan

Billed as a "game-changer," the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System has a range of roughly 2,300 feet -- nearly the length of eight football fields and well past the range of most modern rifles. And some U.S. Army units in Afghanistan began using the revolutionary rifle this month.

XM25

The XM25, designed by Minnesota's Alliant Techsystems, has been in development for about seven years and the first prototypes have been doled out to combat units in Afghanistan this month. The 12-pound, 29-inch system, which costs up to $35,000 per unit, is so sophisticated that soldiers are proficient users literally within minutes.  (Credit: U.S. Army)

XM25

In August 2009, a U.S. soldier successfully fired the XM25 at the Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland for the first time. The Army plans to purchase at least 12,500 systems beginning next year, or enough for one system in each infantry squad and Special Forces team.  (U.S. Army)

XM25

Once the XM25's trigger is pulled and the 25-mm. round leaves the barrel, a computer chip inside communicates exactly how far it has traveled to the weapon system, allowing for precise detonation behind or ahead of any target.

xm25_4640

The XM25's low-velocity ammunition, seen here, has several varieties currently in development, including armor-piercing and high-explosive air-bursting models. Future plans include less-than-lethal rounds and door-breaching capabilities.  (U.S. Army)

xm25_5640

Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the semi-automatic, shoulder-fired weapon system for the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office Soldier, said the XM25 is a "game-changer."  Lehner continued, "The enemy has learned to get cover, for hundreds if not thousands of years. Well, they can't do that anymore. We're taking that cover from them and there's only two outcomes: We're going to get you behind that cover or force you to flee. So no matter what, we gotcha."

U.S. Army's 'Revolutionary' Rifle Now in Use in Afghanistan

Billed as a "game-changer," the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System has a range of roughly 2,300 feet -- nearly the length of eight football fields and well past the range of most modern rifles. And some U.S. Army units in Afghanistan began using the revolutionary rifle this month.

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