A while back on the facebook page I shared some video of guided .50 cal bullets, so even though my initial reaction to this new annoucement was “got to be a joke” I realised shortly after, that actually, this shouldn’t be so surprising. These missiles launch from currently available 40mm weapons such as the M320 that replaced the M203 in US service in recent years (itself another variation on the HK AG36 that we’ve been using as the L123 ‘UGL’ on the L85A2 for some time).
Conventional 40mm projectiles currently in service are heavily dependant on the skill, training and amount of practice undertaken by the firer in order to hit targets and only contain a comparatively very small amount of explosive, so require an accurate shot to actually have an effect on target (or to pass through narrow door/window openings). Also, regardless of skill, the currently deployed HE munitions can only push out to ranges of around 400m in the 40x46mm low velocity format. This new design, which presumably has a built in propulsion system, can reportedly fly out to 1.5 miles and with laser guidance should be able to hit exactly where it’s needed without much trouble in the slightest.