According to COL Tamilio, Program Manager for Soldier Weapons, last Friday the Army received an Operational Need Statement from the 101st Airborne Division currently serving in Afghanistan for a Battalion’s worth of XM25s (36). In November, the Army will initially field five developmental versions of the XM25 to be accompanied by a New Equipment Training Team as well as ample ammunition. The Army is ordering an additional 36 weapons from the manufacturer. When they are delivered they will replace the initial 5 systems with the 36 new XM25s at a date to be determined.
Updated: This limited fielding is not intended to replace the M4 or any other organic Infantry weapons for that matter, used in Afghanistan. In fact, so long as the technology works as advertised, this is a great opportunity for the Army to consider how to best integrate this revolutionary weapon into the force.
The XM25 is an airburst grenade launcher that fires 25mm grenades that are set to explode in the air or near the target. The grenadier can manually adjust the detonation of the grenade by up to 3 meters shorter or longer, which is automatically transmitted to the grenade in the firing chamber. The systems is under development by Heckler & Koch and Alliant Techsystems, and the target acquisition/fire control is developed by L-3 IOS Brashier.