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Army creating next-generation grenade to explode behind barriers

U.S. Army hopes its Small Arms Grenade Munitions (SAGM) help neutralize targets and keep U.S. soldiers safer
By: Michael Hatamoto | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Sep 11, 2014 7:45 pm

The U.S. military is developing new technologies that allow bullets, grenades and other munitions to explode after they pass over defilades and other obstacles. The Small Arms Grenade Munitions (SAGM) platform is being tested by the U.S. Army as a way to engage enemies, even if an enemy is hiding. The SAGM is twice as lethal as a traditional 40 mm grenade if being used against better protected targets.




The new weapon has three modes of firing: Airburst has the ability to detect a defilade first, and then explode. Point detonation occurs when the grenade strikes a target, or a self-destruct feature that helps limit collateral damage and ensures there a smaller number of unexploded ordnances on the battlefield.


"The technology demonstration was conducted at Redstone Arsenal and it was shown that the sensor correctly detected defilade and air-bursted the round behind the defilade," said Steven Gilbert, U.S. Army Armament Research Project Officer. "This capability will inflict maximum lethality to any enemy personnel seeking cover behind defilade."


As testing of these custom grenades continues, there is hope that "smarter" warfare will reduce U.S. and civilian casualties on the battlefield.


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