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 Military.com 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.