More of our budget data diving, the Kit Up! team found the line item that shows how the Army plans to buy the XM-25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement system.
2012 will mark the first year the Army has purchased the XM-25 as a formal program and is officially the Low Rate Initial Production amount. The Army is asking for $16 million to buy five Punishers -- four intended for the active Army and one for the National Guard.
Now, that seems like an awful lot per unit cost: $3.2 million each. I'm checking on why that is but suffice to say this cost could include tooling and parts and ammo for future buys and remember, these weapons and the ammo are currently hand built; there is no tooling in place to crank these things out in an efficient manner.
More interestingly, the Army outlines its plan over the next five years to by more XM-25s: 40 weapons in 2013 for $34 million; 1,028 weapons in 2014 for $70.3 million; 1,337 weapons in 2015 for $70.3 million; and 1,656 weapons in 2016 for $70.2 million.
So the Army is dead serious and devoting $216 million over the next five years to field over 4,000 XM-25s. We'll keep a very close eye on this as the budget filters through the Tea Partiers and defense budget cutters of Capitol Hill to see if the nearly quarter billion dollars for the Punisher stays in.