May 27, 2005 The XM25 Advanced Airburst Weapon System is an entirely new class of weapon that takes the concept of a grenade launcher and adds some smarts, thereby increasing the probability of hit-to-kill performance by up to 500 percent over existing weapons. The advanced design allows the soldier to program the air bursting 25mm round so that it flies to the target and detonates at a precise point in the air. It does not require impact to detonate and is hence capable of defeating an enemy behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole.
Alliant Techsystems has delivered the first six prototype XM25 advanced airbursting weapon systems to the U.S. Army for field-testing. The XM25 fires a High Explosive (HE), air bursting 25mm round capable of defeating an enemy behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole. The advanced design allows the operator to program the round so that it flies to the target and detonates at a precise point in the air. It does not require impact to detonate.
The XM25 is ideal for urban combat. It puts precision firepower in the hands of the soldier, allowing them to eliminate threats without causing significant collateral damage. “The initial field tests are very promising,” said LTC Matthew Clarke, U.S. Army project manager, individual weapons. “A weapon system like the XM25 will prove invaluable to our warfighters. It will be a clear differentiator on the battlefield.”
The revolutionary fire control system for the XM25 employs an advanced laser rangefinder that transmits information to the chambered 25mm round. As the round flies downrange to the target, it precisely measures the distance travelled and detonates at exactly the right moment to deliver maximum effectiveness.
The XM25 increases the warfighter’s probability of hit-to-kill performance by up to 500 percent over existing weapons. It also extends the effective range of the soldier’s individual weapon to more than 500 meters.
Interestingly, the Heckler & Koch XM8 modular assault weapon system and the XM25 Advanced Airburst Weapon System both had their roots in the much maligned XM29 OICW yet could both turn out to be the mainstay weapons systems of the future. If testing goes to plan, the XM8 will enter production in 2008.
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