Marines Searching For an Air-Bursting 40mm System



The Israelis have an upgrade for the M203 they say will give grenadiers the ability to launch 40mm rounds programmed to explode overtop of bad guys behind cover. I filed a story yesterday on that talks about the Marine Corps' search for just such a capability.

Now, the Army is putting its money on the XM25, the so-called "Punisher" that peppers enemy with air-bursting 25mm projectiles. But Marine weapons officials aren't convinced that the XM25 has enough punch to be lethal.

"I have not seen a detailed analysis on the [XM25's] lethality," said Charles Clark III, Infantry Weapons Capabilities Integration Officer for the Marine Corps Fires and Maneuver Integration Division. "We think we can get more lethality out of a 40mm round."

The Marines want an air-burst retrofit for their current grenade launchers that's cheaper than the XM25's current $30,000 sticker price.

The Multi Purpose Rifle System, made by Israel Military Industries Ltd., is one of the possibilities the Corps plans to evaluate.

The system features a computer, laser rangefinder and optic that can be mounted on any rifle with Picatinny rails. Using a touchpad that attaches to a grenade launcher with Velcro, a grenadier can program a special 40mm grenade to accurately explode over a target at ranges beyond 250 meters, IMI officials say.

The MPRS optic/computer is fairly boxy-looking, but the entire system only weighs about a pound, IMI officials say. That's about 13 pounds lighter than an XM25.


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