Army’s XM25 Gets More-Powerful, Streamlined Optic


The Army has upgraded its 25mm airburst weapon by giving it a more streamlined fire-control optic with greater magnification power.

The improvements to the XM25 Counter-Defilade Target Engagement System are the result of soldier feedback that came from two battlefield assessments in Afghanistan.

“This is not the XM25 that went to Afghanistan a few years ago,” Robert Menti of Orbital ATK Armament Systems, the maker of the futuristic airburst weapon, said at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting.

The most noticeable change is the weapon now features a more streamlined fire-control system designed to calculates the range to target and transfers the data to an electronic fuse built into the 25mm round.

It’s still not small, but the new fire-control device is significantly more compact than the boxy system that used to sit on top of the weapon.

The newer design also features a 3X magnification compared to the older version that’s 2X, Menti said.

XM25 is an offshoot of the Objective Individual Combat Weapon program the Army began in the mid-1990s to increase the effectiveness of soldier firepower.

When fired, the projectile is designed to explode directly above targets out to 600 meters, peppering enemy fighters with shrapnel.

The XM25 has created a lot of excitement in the infantry community, but it has also attracted its share of criticism from door-kickers that the five-shot, 14-pound weapon system is more of a burden than a benefit to combat units.

The improved version is much more reliable and gives the squad an effective weapon for defeating enemy operating behind cover, Brig. Gen. Brian Cummings, who command Program Executive Office Soldier, said at AUSA 2015.

“I really believe it’s a game-changer,” Cummings said.

The system has already met all of the requirements, Army officials say, describing how final testing will begin next spring.

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Matthew Cox
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  • Lance

    Only real upgrade it needs hasn’t happened yet. Convert them to fire 40mm grenades.

  • LIAM

    Wish we had that down range when I was deployed!

  • JCitizen

    The grunts gave this such a bad review, that I actually thought it had been cancled. I’m surprised with the funding environment in the DOD right now that it hasn’t. I’d feel a little vulnerable with it in urban environments. Maybe if it had a shotgun slung under the barrel, maybre I’d feel better – but then that defeats the purpose of trying to lighten the thing up. I really like the idea, but in point blank situations, I’d have to have a body guard to protect my back!

    • Robbie

      I’m sure the gunner will be toting a pistol for the “point blank situations” you’re concerned about or, for that matter, in a pinch I imagine a 25mm round in the chest will do the job even if the target is too close for the round to fuse.

      • JCitizen

        Yeah, if you good at hip shooting. I suppose you could sling the thing on your back and use the handgun until the crew leader has a target for you.

    • seans

      Not sure where you are getting it got a bad review from. It got pretty good reviews from the last field testing it did.

      • JCitizen

        The field test report looked good but many of the negative comments seemed valid. I’m just surprised it survived budget sequestration!

  • Lancelot

    God Bless America!

    USA #1

  • charlie

    is it just me, or does the magazine look longer as well?

  • IAC

    The grunts themselves apparently don’t like it.
    Just how lethal is a 1 inch grenade ?

    • Jody

      More lethal than the ones fired out of the 12 gauge AA12?

    • Joshua

      Grunts loved it. No idea who you’ve talked to.

  • John

    So they field this new innovation with the troops, if you can call it that. Then what? “well it gives our boys an advantage on the battlefield” you say? Not only does america already have a severe advantage on the battlefield, but the sort of fighting that this weapon is designed for is about to become obsolete. Its nothing but a way for some snake oil sails men to make a quick buck while knowing full well that their product is only going to be useful for a year or so in actual combat environments. There are two fundamental issue with todays military industrial complex. Well three things actually, that you need to understand.
    The first and most obvious is that the types of weapons that will rule combat zones of tomorrow(literally), will be done through AI, remote, digitally, and biologically, but not in the way you are thinking. They keep adding technological enhancements to soldiers, but they are like incrementally adding stirrups, saddles, bridles, ect. to your horses, until you discover that a car is more efficient. Industry has managed to replace humans in almost every task, but a few. Those few are on their way out as we speak, and the combat soldier is definitely going to be among them. AI is quicker, needs no food, drink, or sleep, is more efficient, can take on harder tasks with heavier loads, fears nothing, and is completely obedient without hesitation. The only thing you guys use against this fact is “well they don’t have intuition or innovation”. Well let me tell you that the branches who will be fielding the XM25 do not tolerate innovation within their ranks, and intuition is a long discarded asset. A sheep who follows orders without question and is logistically less of a drain is much more valuable to the american military than a lion who thinks for himself and needs the things that humans need. Add a highly advanced autonomous drone with FLIR , sonar, radar, satellite communication, and a payload of ultra light smart weapons to that fact and the only job left for soldiers is to maintain that equipment, leaving the decisions, big and small, to the higher command, with a capital H. Weather or not that ticks you off to hear is irrelevant. Its an inevitability you can’t deny and technology has already reached that point. Its just a matter or when our infrastructure is ready to support it. That day has come and the sun has only just risen. The XM25, among so many other scams, is nothing more than a deliberate gravy train play to squeeze some nectar out of that over ripe fruit that we call the military budget.
    Secondly, we embrace every new war innovation that comes our way, knowing full well that it will inspire the opposition to create something to outdo it. Its an endless wasteful trend that doesn’t lead to anything useful, and sometimes, things that you wish you could uninvent, like nuclear weapons. And if you think that its the least we can do for our soldiers, its only setting the bar higher for the next terrible innovation that will be used against them.
    Lastly, guess who this helps? It helps the corporate scumbags who build weapons, and maybe a few employees, of which none of you are. It helps the political scumbags, of which none of you are. It helps the banking scumbags, of which not a single person reading this is. But none of the gains from these innovations ever comes back to you, the citizen. The banks loaned the federal government the money, which they spent on investments that are designed to destroy or be destroyed, and you are only useful, in that they use you to pay off the unplayable debt that was taken out in your name. None of that investment comes back to you. You are the modern equivalent of a feudal serf. You work hard for the lords and barons, occasionally fighting their wars, or getting some scraps that were yours to begin with. The XM25 and its peers, are not designed for US patriots. They are designed for the profit of a few extremely corrupt and greedy groups of people. If that doesn’t ring true with you than you were probably that kid who only stopped believing in Santa Claus after he got picked on in high school for it.

    • Robbie

      Wow. Feel better?

    • Stormcharger

      My eyes!!

      Wall… of… text… Must… Send… Secret… Knowledge… of… Paragraphs… Stat.

      Noted nuclear weapons and Santa Cause in there somewhere, so I guess it was a very poignant elucidation on the Military Industrial Complex? So in short, XM25 bad then?

    • Old MP

      As soon as I saw Sale misspelled, I stopped reading…… Yawn

    • IAC

      I don’t read rambling manifestos !

  • Larry

    Now, why don’t they bump that grenade up to fit in the M203, put the sight on it and run a data cable if needed to the M203 tube, and be done with it. Ooops, sorry…to simple, using stuff already in the inventory, and not hard enough to train on. BTW, I got the t-shirt, this isn’t just an ill informed rant.

    • cabroker25

      LOL… Get some Larry!

    • seans

      Cause a 203 can’t go as far. This is big for a reason, to be able to reach out to the distances it is designed for, and still be lethal requires a far different round than a low velocity 40mm.

      • JCitizen

        Seems like the China Lake pump action 40mm with the same ranging system may have been lighter, and simpler, and cheaper, and after all it is an urban environment – but for open country, I’d still agree.

        • Seans

          How are you getting a China lake is going to have the same ability. Due you understand the differences between this round and 40mm

          • JCitizen

            Yeah! Probably the old tech recoils more, but we don’t need the range either. That weapon is a lot like the M79 which was easy to use, and I always hit my targets – never missed. Same with the 203 – you can’t blame on old dog like me for liking what brung ’em!

            If you say we need this in an urban environment I’ll bite – but I wasn’t necessarily impressed with what I saw on the Military channel.



    I fully agree with LARRY – the 203 grenade launcher is in the system – easy to use. The 203 could be modified with this new type charge and save the American TAX payers a lot of money. I have used the 203 for smoke cover and love it. I would use dog food or anything else to distract the ISLAMIC TERRORIST, just long enough to find cover as the Worthogs came in to to find dinner! HO RAW!

    • JCitizen

      Humm? I was studying 25mm fuzing way back in 1988 – seems to me the huge inventory of that type of munition is ripe for any new weapon coming on line.

  • Jango Soprano

    Bring back the blooper.

  • Jim P

    Looks like a 3-D printed mockup to me… Is this newer, lighter optic real or just vaporware?

    As for the XM-25 itself, I think the idea is a good one. The execution leaves something to be desired. Reports from the field indicate that it doesn’t give a big enough “bang for the buck” to justify the weight, etc. The added range vs. the 40MM is nice but unless they can make it punch above its weight better than it does now, I can’t see why you’d want to field it in large numbers.

    • JCitizen

      That’s what I keep seeing from reports I”ve read from individuals in the field.

  • JCitizen

    Looks like the Marines got other plans:

  • Snow

    Just how powerful can a 1 inch diameter, not very long grenade be? No very I bet. An RPG probably has a better payload and doesn’t weigh any more.

    • William_C1

      Each RPG rocket weighs a lot more and takes up more space however, meaning far less carried.

      Apples and oranges, or rather rocket launchers and grenade launchers.

      • Snow

        But, how much damage does one RPG7 warhead do compared to the warhead on this critter?

        • 45k20e4

          You are still missing the point.

          RPG is not an air-burst weapon…nor can you carry enough ammo to make it useful for more than a few shots.

    • Robbie

      A RPG-7, for instance, weighs 15 pounds, with an effective range of 200 meters and is direct fire only. Can you see the difference now?