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.