When U.S. combat troops are caught in a firefight, one of the quickest ways for them to turn the tide in their favor is to use grenades. The 40mm rounds can be fired from a launcher attached to a rifle, landing on enemies a few hundred meters away. But they have limitations, especially when enemy fighters take cover behind a wall or other obstacle.
The U.S. Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey is working on a new round to address that. “Small Arms Grenade Munitions” would double the lethality of the grenades against enemies who are “in defilade,” meaning they are using obstacles or barriers to shield themselves from harm, Army officials say.
The notion that killing enemies hiding behind walls requires new technology is ridiculous. Once upon a time, soldiers had to aim high to create a trajectory that would drop the round behind the wall.
Granted, being able to fire at a flatter trajectory that relies on sensors to detonate as the round passes over the cover is surely a good thing. Maybe even better than allowing troops equipped with the grenade launcher to practice firing them over and over until they can drop a round over a wall in their sleep.