XM-25 Blast Radius Revealed

The Army just released a new video showing better detail of the XM-25 Counter Defilade Engagement System’s 25mm fragmentation round performance.

We’ve posted video of the system — which Soldiers who are testing them out in Afghanistan call “The Punisher” — before, but it never really showed how the weapon shot (it’s got a brutal kick), how the targeting system works (laze, add a meter, fire) and how the 25mm round did its work (about the blast of a grenade).

This time there’s some good detail. And if you watch closely, you can see how heavy it is, how long it takes to acquire and fire and its relative rate of fire. I’m not sure how much Defense Tech readers have been following our coverage of this program at Kit Up!, but the Army is bullish on this weapon, signing a contract with ATK — the XM-25’s prime — for about $65 million to build more than the five it has and a bunch more ammo. It’s an expensive and slow process right now since each of the H&K-made weapons has to be put together by hand and the ammo is all custom as well.

But our sources — both in the field and back at HQ — say this is one gun that delivers what it’s supposed to: an extremely accurate counterdefilade capability at the squad level.

  • Anthony

    It took this long to deploy a half dozen first gen rifle rockets…We should have pushed this weapon system in October 2001 not a decade later. I like the idea of not joining a war unless we intend to Win…this weapon system is finally a squad level Win. Get them deployed! 5,000 weapons and enough ammo for a turkey shoot, maybe the White House’s next “Stimulus” package will be one to revamp our boots on the ground and stop pretending like the M4 is still relevant in Afghanistan’s long-range engagements.

  • asdf

    ~200-300m longer engagement radius wouldn’t hurt…

    • blight

      Increases felt recoil as well.

  • They just need to integrate an MP5’s guts in to the grip so the trooper can have some close quarters potential. That or some kind of buckshot grenade round.

    • Guest

      I don’t think I’d want to be anywhere near that thing during a CQB situation. Although one or two shots from that thru a window and the rooms clear anyway…

      • Dosco Jones

        The butt of the weapon doesn’t appear to be well designed for use as a club. I wonder how much physical damage the round would cause if fired into someone at close range. Would the round explode in this scenario, or are we looking only at kinetic damage?

        • Kinetic damage, I know the rounds for the M203 and M79 had a safety range. A little spinner that needs to turn so many times as the rounds fly before it can arm so you can’t accidentally blow your own squad up. ;)

          Sorry COD but TeamKills don’t happen with 203s. :D

  • theman

    The blast looks like it has more ability to wound than kill. Kit Up posted a story awhile ago where soldiers said the XM25 was not necessarily that lethal, but it decreased firefights from 20 mins to 2 mins. Food for though.

    • Brian

      Dying is the enemies job, we don’t care if they’re fast at it or not. Taking the bad guy out of the fight is our job. How well does this gadget do that?

  • STemplar

    Some dummies made of ballistic gel would be nice for some indication of wounds inflicted.

    • Guest

      There was a show about this on tv about a yr ago when it was still in development where they had shown damage. It was pretty bad for the target dummy.

  • Wondering how long before the high tech portion of the weapon can be back fitted to the standard issue M203 or Russian Version the GP-Whatever.

    • Jeff M

      The sight is already being fitted to the mk-19 I read the other day.

    • WarScientist

      Yes the L3 Brashear thermal sight/fire control system can be mounted on a standard top rail. However the airburst function requires a programmeable round that can wirelessly receive the time-of-flight information from the sight.

      That’s where current 40mm Low Velocity grenades are still lacking, although there are a few versions here and there, they are still in testing.

      For current old-school 40 mike-mikes you are better off using the aimpoint BR8 fire control system, which is basically a red dot sight with a laser range finder and ballistic computer with flight path infor for common rifle rounds and common 40mm grenade rounds. Its a fair bit lighter than the sight on this puppy, and last longer, but has shorter range and no thermal imaging/ target sharing capabilities.

      It increases the first shot hit rate of 40mm LV grenades to about 80% at 250 meters, which is a huge improvement.

  • blight

    That assumes they carry them back, which was a mistake made in RVN and Somalia. And in Somalia, they were on khat and still in the fight despite these wounds.

    The XM-25’s promise is injuring multiple people in one fell swoop. Rocket team, machine gun crew, mortar crews, gunmen behind cover…

    What would be better would be something like the old FLASH that fired a barrage. There’s precision fire and then there’s volume-fire.

    • Guest

      Your right about that, I was thinking more of conventional type forces, but one of these rounds going off in anyones face and the only thing they’ll be fighting for is their life I’d imagine…

      • blight

        As someone else posted previously, if you’re wearing basic body armor you might survive this kind of blast.

        What would be intriguing is a stun grenade for this. Park a guy with XM-25 near a building. Fire a flash round through the window. Stun everyone in the windows and storm the building.

  • DhuntAUS

    technology hey ? imagine what sunglass laser beams w’re going to be using in 50 years haha

  • Valentina

    for you national sovereignty is a concept totally abstract … Democracy ( has become the power of your people) …nothing

  • NATO isn’t thrilled about dragging your weight, either. ;)

  • Brian

    You suck balls. Quit spamming the site. I don’t come to your country’s website and post a bunch of crap there. I’m sure the mayor of whatever country you’re from is sitting there in his hut shaking his head right now.

    • Valentina

      2003, 17 ottobre. Arcipelago de La Maddalena (Italia). Sfiorato incidente nucleare: il sottomarino americano Hartford s’incaglia nella Secca dei Monaci a poche miglia dalla base di La Maddalena

      altro che spamming

  • Valentina

    What’s weight?

    Sardinia is not a weight…energeti sufficient we living with tourism , fish, farm and we don’t have Nuclear

    and your nation?

    • Achilles

      Your nation is a mud hut compared to ours.

      • Valentina

        yes i’m indigena

    • STemplar

      Your nation isn’t living with anything were it not for the expenditures of the US and it’s military. Typical of the western European social welfare mentality you were raised in generations of the social welfare state subsidized by US tax payers. not having to spend real coin on legitimate capable defenses the western European countries were able to roll the savings into their social programs to placate the fodder.

      Witness Libya with the NATO nations absent the US having to plead for our continued involvement with ground OPS in Libya because they completely lack the ability to strike on their own. To paraphrase the NATO official ‘only the US has the ability to hit troops and equipment that are mobile’.

      You and your kind love to bask in the benefits of modern developed society completely taking for granted the fact that you can is insured by the US’s commitment to freedom of navigation of the seas and securing the flow of oil from the middle east. Without that your pathetic arid little island would dry up and blow away.

  • Giy


    Learn some English if you want to bad mouth us otherwise hook me up with your sister and get out your camera butt-head!!!!!

    • Valentina

      cursed the day that our history has been crossed with your and your British allied..for a criminal like Mussolini…double trouble…who knows not to serve a warning to those people that aspire to your help

      • mcluvin

        Incredible, the distorted lens of historical perspective. I’m sure your grandparents and their children would have been much happier under the boot of Mussolini and Hitler. Instead of landing in Sicily and brutally fighting the way north, resulting in a free and liberated Italy, what would you have preferred, that we left Italy alone and took our dirty fighting somewhere else? How naive and childish. Enjoy your freedoms. Sprechen ze Duetsch much?

        • Valentina

          The Americand landed in Sicily with according with Mafia in Sicily and hiring all the fascists in Italy..like Junio Borghese and X MAS

          • Valentina

            Al termine del conflitto, dopo lo scioglimento formale della Xª MAS il 26 aprile 1945 in piazzale Fiume a Milano, Borghese fu preso in consegna dalla polizia partigiana.[14] Il 9 maggio fu contattato da un agente dei Servizi segreti italiani Carlo Resio e dall’agente dell’Oss James Angleton che lo informarono che l’ammiraglio Raffaele de Courten intendeva incontrarlo a Roma.[15] In seguito, l’11 maggio, con l’aiuto dei servizi segreti americani, scortato da Resio e Angleton, fu trasferito a Roma, dove trascorse un breve periodo prima di essere ufficialmente arrestato dalle autorità americane il 19 maggio per essere trasferito nel carcere di Cinecittà.[16] Secondo Renzo De Felice:”Gli americani erano interessati alla Xª Mas perché pensavano di utilizzare i suoi famosi maiali per la guerra contro i giapponesi. Gli inglesi fecero di più: una nave (ma forse le navi furono due) che, a operazioni belliche finite, trasportava dalla Iugoslavia armi per gli ebrei in Palestina, fu fatta saltare dai maiali della Xª”.[17]

            and who knows what else

          • Valentina

            Grazie alla protezione accordatagli dai Servizi segreti statunitensi, con i quali era già in contatto da diversi mesi prima della fine della guerra, Borghese ottenne di essere giudicato di fronte ad una Corte d’assise a lui tutt’altro che sfavorevole. Il suo avvocato Italo Formichella aveva inoltrato istanza di ricusazione del Tribunale di Milano per legittima suspicione. Il 17 febbraio 1949, ritenuto colpevole solo del reato di collaborazionismo con i tedeschi, venne formalmente condannato a dodici anni di detenzione ma, in seguito all’applicazione di una serie di condoni e riduzioni di pena, fu subito scarcerato.non stupisce che i fascisti siano diventati filo americani..

            La Russa ministry of defense now with berlusconi is MSI..AN..PdL and he is a fascist

          • Valentina

            A Livorno, presso la caserma Vannucci, il ministro della Difesa Ignazio La Russa ha elogiato i corpi militari ricordando la Decima Mas, Junio Valerio Borghese e la Repubblica sociale. “Tra i reparti schierati in questo piazzale c’è l’elite delle nostre forze armate, come il Comsubin della marina, erede della non dimenticata Decima Mas”, ha dichiarato il ministro ex missino.
            L’uscita nostalgica ha ovviamente suscitato numerose proteste. La Russa, per nulla pentito o imbarazzato dal fatto, ha dichiarato di voler semplicemente sottolineare l’eroismo riconosciuto della Decima Mas.

          • Valentina

            with people like this NATO and America are in perfect accord the same.

            I’m sure that i’m different

          • Valentina

            and you?

          • anon

            ma fangulo /mascalzone

          • Maxtrue

            The first time Italy tried to rule Libya they needed Hitler to send in the Desert Fox to do what Qaddafi can’t. Almost 60 years to the month. The next time Italy’s plans in Libya collapsed they needed NATO to slap their friend Qaddafi.

            Hell we can always relocate our bases to Crete and Cyprus if Italy or Turkey think we’re the enemy. Useless allies are like a jammed gun in combat.

            America brought the Mafia to Italy? And the Pope has Jewish grandparents….

          • Valentina

            Do you worry sometimes about what want the local population?

          • Valentina

            Are you upsets more for the alliance withMafia of 43 rather than the recruitment of fascists?

          • Valentina


            fanculo not fangulo

          • Proud American

            If we did move our bases out, you all would cry like little biiiaatches that you were losing all that revenue. You should thank your stars there is a country on this earth that will waste it’s time, money and human life to protect your pathetic butt, and make your life worth living.

          • Maxtrue

            Cyprus would have no problem being home to US bases as they will need protection as their oil and gas fields are pumped. Why should we not bitch about Turkish occupation? And Crete might love the cash benefit. V asks if we consider the locals. Did Italy ever consider the locals in Libya or Africa? To blame the US for the Mafia is rather a bad joke. We cleaned them up here, but they gold much power in Italy. The worst comment following the Italian support of Hitler of all people and his murder of Jews, Gypsies and gays, it to blast the US for liberating Italy. Fortunately this women with too much time on her hands does not represent Italians. I am sure she would not have liked speaking either German or Russian.

          • Valentina

            Ah Cash benefit!

            What Blame..search it’s true…oss, mafia, sicily.

            Sure i don’t represent italians

          • jerryd87

            no doubt there are many stories(my wife even has a book of them) of survivors of ww2 coming to america and weeping at the sight of the flag or one of the memorials, giving thanks that we liberated them. one who hasnt seen war or seen the hardship we fight to prevent cannot possibly understand us.

  • MadDogVAQ33

    So Communism is the way to go…with EVERYONE in chains and the old definition that, “A communist is someone willing to share his poverty with you.”

    In a Communist country you would not have the right to speak out at all…be thankful you have democracies and republics…and basic human rights.

    You, young lady, are completely clueless.

    • Valentina

      your neurons are sick of ideology

      • STemplar

        Don’t you have some meeting to go attend with a bunch of people with lots of piercings and no jobs?

        • Valentina

          Sure in my island i would have better things to do ,unfortunately I have to read and respond to defense from people like you, Larry (what a stupid!) and so on

          • orly?

            And yet YOU BEGIN these INSANE/ILLEGIBLE conversations that have NOTHING to do with these articles!


  • Valentina

    and you have not paid a penny for the land cleaning and the port for the shit that you left .. and cleaning are not finished yet … for a typical Italian scandal

    parasites …

    • orly?

      If you complained to the USSR, you would have been shot.

      Perhaps, you prefer that.

  • blight

    The military has always been a major polluter. Even in the United States.

  • blight

    …so you’re an anarchist, in the old ’20s tradition?

    • Valentina

      what’is ’20s tradition?

      No Bases! A fora is Amerikanos! A fora Sa NATO

      • orly?

        Again, did you prefer the USSR? Or perhaps the USSR reducing your country to rubble?

  • Valentina

    the translate is

    Democrats with the butt of the other

  • FtD

    wondering if they also do an airburst napalm round & set the place on fire will be quite cool……

    • Matrix_3692

      i think that a 25mm round contains too little napalm for any desirable effect, event you empty your whole magazine on a target (non-flammable) you might just be looking at a fire little more than what you used for barbecue.

    • orly?

      Interesting thought, but I’d hate to see a misfire

  • I wonder when they will make HEAT rounds for this thing. Semi-auto Anti light armor gun anyone?

    • WarScientist

      I believe a HEDP round is in development, which should provide some fairly nice anti-vehicle capabilities.

      Then again we are fighting people who main transport is a Toyota Hilux, the regular HE round will do plenty against that kind of target ;)

      • Chimp

        Don’t knock the Hilux! After a hit from the old Carl Gustav, hose the previous occupants out of the cab, turn the key and she’s ready to fight again.

        Amazing bit of kit.

  • Uppercut

    The Israel Military Industries have a similar idea which can be fitted on an existing assault rifle (called the MPRS). The sight is used for both the weapon and grenade launcher. The grenade is a dedicated one. It might not have all the features of the XM-25 but I bet it is only a fraction of the cost and could be deployed much more quickly….it is a shame that the US doesn’t fully leverage their allies capabilities…..
    Here is the IMI web page for the product….. http://www.imi-israel.com/home/doc.aspx?mCatID=68

    • mig1nc

      I just looked at your MPRS link.

      It has a self destruct mode? That’s …. well… Interesting.

      • blight

        I think they mean the munitions have a user-settable timer mode without the weapon (otherwise that would be time delay?)

        So one could set “self destruct” and throw them if you really had to?

    • Now THATS what I’m talking about!!

      Put these new “smart grenades” on to existing rifles. It would be much quicker to field the weapon since every squad has a grenadier who is already trained on the M203, all this does is add a few buttons to his existing kit.

      • blight

        ATK disapproves!

      • Jeff

        This was derived from the OICW’s launcher, which was too small a caliber to be effective and made that weapon too bulky. OICW’s rifle component was effectively a heavily shortened and lightened G36. So after trying what everyone here is asking for, it wasn’t exactly possible in that scale.

    • Jeff

      Most of the current cost of the XM-25 comes from its low rate production. At full rate production the contract have the high explosive round at roughly half the price of the M203’s high explosive round; $35/round as opposed to the the current low volume production of $100/round. In the same vein the full rate production cost of the XM-25 is set at $25,000, down from the current $35,000.

      The US military’s relationship, with the IMI has shown to be more of liability due to the willingness of IMI to sell to non-allies of the US…. even still its been less give and take.

  • sooperfly

    I’m not convinced. In looking at the burst envelope, what’s the fragmentation look like and how is it distributed. Seems like a soldier with helmet and body armor would survive except for maybe a really close hit. And the range ain’t much more than a 203. I thought this thing was supposed to hit out to 1km! If its at squad level then I hope we keep on real 40mm grenadier as well.

  • Galloglas

    WELL, At least the wounded enemy will leave a good blood trail to follow after he runs back to his buddies.

  • Matrix_3692

    Maybe they can think about en-longing the barrel and make it into an ultra light artillery piece, pocket cannons anyone?

  • blight

    Probably, but since these are airburst rounds putting one through a window will probably kill whoever’s inside. Sometimes you want HVTs. Alternatively, sometimes you want to fire some stun rounds /over/ people’s heads. An airburst flashbang is probably more acceptable than rubber bullets which can kill, pepper rounds which can maim, so on and so forth.

  • shon

    true, but that would increase the size, weight and cost of the ammo and weapon

  • errol helton

    Why didn’t we just copy the German MG-42?
    Why didn’t we just copy the Russian AK-47?

    The German grenade with its handle could be thrown farther than ours so, why didn’t we copy it?

    The Japanese knee mortar was a deadly weapon that was easy to carry and deploy – we ignored it too.

    The Russians installed a rear firing stinger rocket on its fighters – we haven’t done that.

    Israel put rear view mirrors in the fighters we sold them to enable spotting someone on their “six” – it was simple and inexpensive…we didn’t do that.

    The XM-25 is a great idea and makes hiding behind the wall or rock, and over the crest an idea that no longer works but you can bet, the other side will have the same weapon, in greater numbers in no time at all.

    Now, where can one find protection? Only by using unmanned systems to fight our battles can we avoid losing more and more men and that’s our great advantage.

    • blight

      Potato masher can be thrown farther, but there is bulk (from the handle) and I /think/ less lethal payload. I remember reading in Band of Brothers that a soldier with a baseball pitching background pitched a hand grenade: which would give it considerable range. If we wanted ranged grenades, we could design them like Nerf footballs with tails, and then launch them with spin. Adjust training regimens to include more throwing exercises.

      Knee mortar wasn’t a knee mortar: it was ground mounted. Anybody who fired it off their knee broke it. Our preference was for accurate 60mm mortar fire over a super lightweight 50mm mortar, though I guess the M203 is kind of like the knee mortar in spirit.

      I know the United States put a missile in the rear gunner position of the B-52; but this was eventually deleted. I imagine off-bore engagement by fighter craft will eliminate the utility of “rear firing” missiles, as any front-firing missile would eject and engage targets from all aspect; but that’s sometime in the future.

    • Guest

      “Israel put rear view mirrors in the fighters we sold them to enable spotting someone on their “six” – it was simple and inexpensive…we didn’t do that.”

      Yes we do…

    • STemplar

      Maybe because we beat all those countries with equipment the way we made it so we figured ours is better…..

    • blight

      Off-topic, but I’ve begun to wonder if something like a dog ball thrower for hand grenades would work to extend their range. It means less bulk on the grenade like the potato masher, and no handle to mess with the physics (the handle affecting the spin of the grenade)

  • 1 of Many

    The XM weapon was under development six years ago but was cancelled
    by the Bush administration. Just sayin’…

  • howard

    the key to the boots on the ground is to have enough of them and
    enough ammo to take out the targets and keep the bag guys
    far away…increase the range of this monster!

  • YWG

    Good use at the appropriate range