Strategy Page has a post up about the XM307, the replacement for the M2 .50 cal machine gun that’s been in service since shortly after WW1. The weapon was originally designed to fire 25mm “smart shell” grenades like the XM25, but the Army decided it was finally time to retire the good old “Ma Deuce” M2 and, with a barrell change and a receiver swap, the XM307 will be transformed into a standard .50 caliber machine gun.
The XM307 is 14 pounds lighter than the M2, and some of its smart shell electronics, like a laser range finder, will also be usable with the .50 cal configuration. The big question probably is the reliability and durability of the new weapon. For 80 years the M2 has proven itself, and I’m sure that not everyone is excited about the “upgrade”. We’ll see.