XM-25: The US Army's first smart shoulder-fired weapon


May 27, 2009

The XM25 smart weapon

The XM25 smart weapon

May 27, 2009 The XM25 Individual Air Burst Weapon is looking likely to be the shoulder-fired weapon of choice for the US military to kill or neutralize hidden targets. Due for field test this summer, the lightweight XM-25 "smart weapon" uses High Explosive Air-Burst (HEAB) munitions that can be programmed to detonate at a precise point in the air without the need to impact, spelling trouble for elusive targets, be they behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole.

The XM25

Developed jointly by the German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch and the US company Alliant Techsystems (ATK Corporation), the XM-25 is a semi-automatic, shoulder-fired weapon with a five-round magazine and weighs in at around 14 pounds (6.3kg) – about the same weight as an M-16 with a 203 grenade launcher. The weapon's XM116 integral fire system provides the weapon with its precision and is capable of controlling individually each of the 25mm rounds in real time. Based on a thermal optic, day-sight, laser range finder, compass and infrared light, the system can precisely measure the distance to the target and program each round to explode close to the mark via the wireless connection. Capable of hitting a point target at 500 meters and area targets at 700 meters with a range of munitions including HEAB, anti-personnel, two types of non-lethal munitions – blunt and agent dispersing airburst - plus armor piercing, and door breaching munitions, this is one very nasty piece of ordinance and a must have on any soldiers list.

In a nutshell, it operates with the soldier sighting the target and the advanced laser rangefinder transmitting range information to the chambered 25mm round. The soldier then essentially points and fires. After the round leaves the chamber and moves towards its target, the system precisely measures the distance traveled and detonates it at exactly the right moment to deliver maximum effectiveness. ATK says that the XM25 increases the warfighter’s probability of hit-to-kill performance by up to 500 percent over existing weapons and extends the effective range of the soldier’s individual weapon to more than 500 meters.

The LW50MG

Another high-tech weapon recently field tested by the military is the Lightweight .50 Caliber Machine Gun (LW50MG). Unlike the XM25, which doesn’t offer a weight advantage, the LW50MG weights in at 64 pounds (29kg) complete with tripod, i.e., half the weight of the M-2 .50 caliber machine gun. With 60% less recoil than the M-2, the LW50MG will also offer greater accuracy and speed than the veteran M-2.

For more information visit ATK and Heckler and Koch

David Greig

Via: US Army.


XM25 Air Burst Weapon fires an air-bursting round at a target from 16 to 600 meters away with a highly accurate, 360-degree explosive radius.


Think if the efforts, both financial and intellectual, devoted to finding ever better ways to kill (or 'neutralise', as the phrase goes) people could be devoted to more useful pursuits !...



I like its fancy costume.

Jennifer Manglass

Correction XM25 Air Burst Weapon fires an air-bursting round at a target from 0 to 750 meters away with a highly inaccurate, 180-degree explosive radius. 99% of the shrapnel fails to hit a target. Where are you getting your figures, Shane?


I think Shane is getting his mis-information from the same people who like to tell us that wars are for our benefits.

That the Iraqi's had weapons of mass destruction. Plus they didn't kill Kennedy because he wanted to pull out of Vietnam, and that would've cost the arms manufacturers so much in lost revenue.


RF Noise source operating in the area to interfere with the wireless connection and there won't be any bang when it gets to where it's going.


the Republic of Korea\'s Army already developed and deployed an indivisual air burst weapon which can change from K2 automatic 30 rounds from a flick of a switch.

\"The double-barreled K-11 assault rifle lets the shooter fire either NATO 5.56- or 20-millimeter grenades, all off the same trigger. Day and night aiming is accomplished with a thermal target seeker and laser that calculates distance automatically--a true point-and-shoot.\"

i don\'t know a lot about this gun, so if you want more information google \'K11 aussault rifle\'

bio-power jeff

I worry more about the shoulder-stock interface, the lack of an adjustable length stock, and the recoil.

Ideally there will be golf ball buckshot and flechette rounds for the close fight.


it just needs some kind of umbrella armor to counter this weapon.


Scenario - This gets reasonably widespread adoption in the field. Enemy steals/hacks signal/encryption on the detonation program and constantly broadcasts \"range=0\" all over the battlefield. How many friendlies die before someone gets clued in and they stop using it? Imagine the media feeding frenzy after that.

Chris Weiss

Chriss weiss - the range=0 idea is a great trick. I\'ve been seeing that one done in various movies for the last 40 years. Which kinda makes me wonder \"If everyone knows about this trick, is it really a trick anymore? All they have to do is set the software/firmware up so the lowest range it can use is larger than the blast radius of the munition. I do note that the article says that the range is only downloaded to the chambered round. This causes me to wonder if the rounds can only accept information when a certain physical connection is made with round itself, or perhaps the round is only \"write enabled\" while a certain physical contact or switch is \"polled\" on the device. These issues seem obvious to me, a firmware coder with no weapons experience at all, so I suspect than an experienced munitions firmware coder would be on top of it.

Of course no range=0 options means no \"MacGuyvering\" the round so you just throw it around the corner like a grenade when you have just the rounds and no gun to use them with.


Jennifer Manglass - I suspect he got his \"numbers\" from a product brochure. Sometimes marketing people have almost no actual understanding of the items they are selling, resulting in remarkably bad product capability descriptions.

But no matter what the shape of the blast, its a great idea from the offensive point of view. the concept of a protected position changes completely. Now soldiers can\'t duck behind a rock or a tree for cover. These rounds can hit a target if they can get above, next to or behind the targeted individual. In certain circumstances they can even hit them from below. Tree based sniper or urban combat where targets might be on a \"floor\" with open spaced cells in it, like a fire escape or in a large factory or warehouse.

So in the field I\'m no longer thinking \"Get behind a rock and then start firing!\" Now I think: \"get in a cave or in a armored vehicle, then fire!\" This changes a lot of ground combat. You can\'t fire from a cave, and if you are in an armored vehicle, odds are that vehicle will have much better armament than a single soldier. Any ground force deployed against forces armed with these munitions is either going to be immobilised or will have to continuously attacking with almost no regard for physical cover. Sucks to be them.


I sure hope he shoulders it properly before firing.

it\'s getting that the weapons are smarter than the people operating them....

Facebook User

don\'t know .. it has all the cool bells and whistles . . but looks very bulky . . .in the thumbnail .. i thought it was a carl gustav redesign . . and with an ACUPAT pattern on . . i\'d see that a mile away . . except if that was sticking near a gravel mound . .

Al Ongsuco

Mhenriday, You convince \"them\" to let \"us\" live in peace and I\'ll be first in line to back dismantling the Military. It is an ironic compliment to the Military that you feel so safe and insulated.

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