Army advertising pimps the XM25.
"Biggest Change For Infantry Since WWII: XM25."
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. . .
The XM25 now entering production is 14 lbs and will only go to select soldiers as a specialist weapon. Scharre expects its weight and cost to come down over time.
OMG Not the "fat girl" again!! this cow has been part of every budget since the aborted "land warrior" fiasco of Bush/Clinton fame. It never worked. When sent overseas at the start of the latest insanity it failed so badly that it was believed to be a dead program by most in DC. But there is nothing in DC closer to immortality than a failed weapons program.---Ray
“Once it gets into the hands of more troops, they can start experimenting and adapting tactics,” Back in my computer days, we would call this "beta testing by the customer" for anything Microsoft foisted on the public.
"It will be the first radically new small arms technology since 1943." For many of us Nam vets, we thought the M-16 was "radical new small arms technology." And yes, we were the"Beta testers" back then too.
At the end of the article, this question is raised:
“If four out of five of all Americans who die at the hands of the enemy are infantrymen, and our vulnerable center of gravity is dead Americans,” said Scales, “then why don’t we, as a national priority, do everything we can to keep ground combat soldiers alive?”
My response is because nothing has changed in the brass' attitudes towards grunts since Kipling wrote these sage lines:
"makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap"
The chain of command is real big on loyalty from subordinates to superiors but when it comes to loyalty from superiors to subordinates, not so much. I have never seen any evidence that most generals gave a tinker's damn about the troops they sent into battle.
"Scharre expects its weight and cost to come down over time."
Ummm. When did Defence Department purchaing protocols change?
Or the 'engineering' meme - "Everything costs more ... and takes longer"
(and PS - this 'new' device was not designed by John Moses!)
"Counter-defilade target engagement", because even grunts know that indirect fire only takes a mortar and a pocket calculator...or an ordinary grenade launcher with an appropriate sight. This system is an advance, but claiming it is a "huge game changer" or a revolution in combat capability reeks of desperation. This kind of system needs to cut its teeth as a vehicle-mounted weapon to work out the kinks before it can be scaled down to be useful to unsupported infantry.
"If four out of five of all Americans who die at the hands of the enemy are infantrymen, and our vulnerable center of gravity is dead Americans, then why don’t we, as a national priority, do everything we can to keep ground combat soldiers alive?"
Because "everything we can" includes not deploying at all. If you're going to fight a war, it has to be for a purpose significant enough that Americans will accept a certain number of casualties. If dead Americans are our vulnerable center of gravity, it means the people are beginning to think some of these wars aren't really necessary.
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