Goodbye, M4 carbine; hello, enormous Defense Department contracts. The Army is seeking a new standard rifle for the first time in 50 years. The Army advertised this week for a new rifle that would feature futuristic sights and be able to handle new ammunitions. The war in Afghanistan has raised concerns about the M4, which may not be reliable in dusty conditions: Soldiers at the 2008 Battle of Wanat, where nine servicemen died, complained about weapons jamming. A hint of what lies ahead: Last year, the service began field testing the XM25 grenade launcher, which has a laser-range finder and onboard computer. It programs its rounds to go off just in front of or behind its targets.
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