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US Army's competition for new grenade launcher approaches tech demonstration phase

A soldier aims a XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement system during testing at Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland. (US Army)

The US Army's contest for a follow-on contract for its high-explosive airburst munition system, Precision Grenadier System (PGS), is now down to two finalists.

The army's xTechSoldier Lethality has been awarding companies cash prizes for their solutions to replace legacy M320 grenade launchers. The army earlier tried to replace the grenade launchers with the XM25, which failed after the army terminated Orbital ATK's contract in 2017.

The army told Janes in October 2022 that the PGS would be similar to the XM25 โ€“ the failed replacement for the grenade launchers โ€“ but would be fielded differently.

The system will be โ€œa manportable integrated weapon systemโ€ that can destroy personnel targets in defilade and in the open, according to an army sources sought notice released in February 2023.

The weapon should be able to eliminate personnel targets at a minimum of 500 m with a target engagement time of less than 5 seconds and a flight time of no greater than 3 seconds for a 500 m target.

The army requested a system shorter than 34 inches that weighs less than 14.5 lb, according to the source sought notice. It also wants an accurate range determination of personnel out to 800 m and vehicles or troops in the open out to 1,000 m.

The fire-control system should have a field-of-view out to a range of 1,000 m and be capable of semi-automatic firing.

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