Video: XM-25 grenade launcher demo, explanation.

The U.S. military this summer will equip special forces troops with a high-tech grenade launcher that has military experts in thrall. This is a different sort of infantry weapon – and not just because of the hefty $25,000 price tag attached to each unit coming off the production line. With built-in lasers and optics precision sensors, the so-called “XM-25 “Counter Defilade Target Engagement System” was designed to shoot around obstacles, and thus provide a solution for one of the age-old challenges faced by armies confronting dug-in opponents.

The XM-25 doesn’t curve its bullets. Rather, it programs them to explode at precise distances. The soldier measures the distance to a target using a laser site and then dials in where the bullet should explode, such as at the corner of a building, raining down shrapnel. The bullet has a small magnet inside that lets it generate AC current as it spins and a microprocessor that measures those current oscillations to derive how far it’s traveled.

Source: Charles Cooper for CBS News.