The only way to be safe from it is inside a closed, concrete bunker.
The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System fires 25mm air-bursting shells up to 2,300 feet, making it most closely related to the grenade launcher, but with a range greater than most rifles used by the Army, AFP reports.
Let’s say enemy fighter pops up from behind a wall to fire at U.S. troops and then takes cover before they can respond. An XM25 gunner can then use the laser range finder to get the distance to the wall, program the explosive to go off a few feet behind it, fire over the wall, and then watch as lethal shell fragments rain down from above.
The 12-pound, 29-inch system, which was designed by Minnesota’s Alliant Techsystems, costs up to $35,000 per unit and, while highly sophisticated, is easy enough to use that soldiers become proficient within minutes, reports Fox News.
“For well over a week, it’s been actively on patrols, and in various combat outposts in areas that are hot,” said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lehner, program manager for the XM25, to the AFP. “This is the first time we’re putting smart technology into the hands of the individual soldier.
“It’s giving them the edge,” he said, in the harsh Afghan landscape where Islamist extremists have vexed US troops using centuries-old techniques of popping up from behind cover to engage. “Now we’re taking that away from the enemy forever.”