XM25, or How Combat Armor will appear in your lifetime

March 28, 2011

Have you all seen the XM25? You can check out the Wikipedia article here but in the meantime, here is a pic:

XM25 Punisher in action

XM25 Punisher in action

This little baby is a game changer. It employs a very simple concept: set the grenade I am firing to explode 1 meter beyond the cover that I am pointing at.  It uses a laser range finder and a fiendishly simple method of calculating distance — the number of rotations in its flight. Once the target is selected, the projectile is on its own and not subject to jamming or obscuration of the “painting” laser.

For the soldier faced with guerrilla enemies who use cover as a fighting advantage, the XM25 (or if for some reason this version doesn’t work out, its eventual improved successor) provides the means to negate the guerrilla’s big advantage.  Makes lots of sense for the US to develop such a weapon given its current deployments.

While one side has these and the other side doesn’t, it sure is a “tech level related advantage.” IMTU the modern US is Tech 8 and its army fights with a combination of Tech 8, 7 and 6 equipment so let’s call it Tech 8. Its enemies in Iraq tend to use Tech 7, 6, 5 equipment with the odd piece of Tech 8 equipment thrown in so let’s call it Tech 7.

What happens though when both sides have their own XM25 Punishers? That means no one gets the advantage of cover.

Well of course you have to bring your cover with you…and that sounds a lot like Combat Armor. I would expect to see rapid development of the body armor component of Combat armor soon. The power assisted capacity research is already funded and in progress (BLEEX for example is a proto-walker) as well as really smart armor like tanks and AFVs carry now (Wet Armor.)

In the meantime, I’ll treat a Traveller/AHL/Striker soldier with an XM25 as having a LAG that can ignore cover if it has a LOS over or past the cover. The airburst means no contact hits, but that frag attack is still pretty nasty.

And I am thinking of making the Combat Environment Suit Tech 9 instead of 10 and Combat Armor Tech 10 instead of 11.

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