Heckler & Koch XM25

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The Heckler & Koch XM25 Individual Airburst Weapon System (also known as the Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) System) is a semiautomatic airbursting grenade launcher spun off from work on the grenade launcher module of the terminated Heckler & Koch XM29 Objective Individual Combat Weapon project, developed by Heckler & Koch and Alliant Techsystems (now Orbital ATK). Five pre-production models have undergone field testing in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division who nicknamed it the "Punisher," and 36 more XM25s have been made since then.

Following a double-feed malfunction during live-fire training in February 2013, the Army ordered all XM25s removed from the field for further testing. In June of the same year, the Senate Armed Services Committee recommended the 2014 budget eliminate funding for the 1,400 launchers intended to be purchased that year; this was misintrepreted by some as meaning the cancellation of the entire XM25 program, but the Army renewed its commitment to fielding the XM25 in August 2013. In September 2014 the main contractor, ATK, was awarded a $33.4 million contract to complete the weapon's engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase within the next two years, with the procurement phase delayed to 2017.

In late 2015 a new pre-production version was showcased, fitted with an improved, more compact fire control system with a 3x scope replacing the older 2x scope. In August 2016, the Defense Department Inspector General's Office issued a heavily-redacted report in which they recommended the Army "determine whether to proceed with or cancel the XM25 program after reviewing the results of the 2016 Governmental testing," which was scheduled to conclude in fall 2016.

Early mock-ups used a polymer body very reminiscent of the Heckler & Koch XM8, but more recent pre-production versions had a far more conventional appearance. The latest version appears to have gone to halfway between the mockups and the pre-production version, though it is not clear if the displayed weapon was a live XM25 or a mockup.

In early 2017 it emerged that Orbital ATK had filed a lawsuit against Heckler & Koch seeking damages of $27 million for failure to deliver 20 additional prototypes after Heckler & Koch claimed the weapon could potentially violate the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 banning explosive projectiles weighing less than 400 grams. It is not particular clear why this is suddenly an issue when HK has been working on small airburst munitions with ATK for over twenty years. ATK claimed this had jeopardised the entire program, and is also seeking the transfer of intellectual property from Heckler & Koch, meaning they would not be the manufacturer of future XM25s.

On April 5th 2017, the US Army terminated its contract with Orbital ATK, citing the failure to deliver the 20 additional prototypes or offer any suitable replacement. It is unclear if this means the cancellation of the entire XM25 program, though the current US doctrine still calls for an infantry direct-fire airburst weapon.

Heckler & Koch XM25 mock-up - 25x40mm. This is a non-firing demonstrator which looks substantially different to the final version.
Pre-2015 XM25 pre-production model - 25x40mm
2015 XM25 with new fire control system - 25x40mm

Contents

Specifications

(2010 - present) (Prototypes fielded 2010-2013)

Type: Grenade Launcher

Length: 29 inches (737mm)

Weight: 14 lbs (6.35kg) empty

Caliber: 25x40mm

Capacity: 4/5-round detachable box magazine (recent prototype appears to use 5)

Fire Modes: Semi-Auto

The Heckler & Koch XM25 can be seen in the following film and video games:


Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Expendables 3 Victor Ortiz Mars Mockup constructed around an L85A1 2014

Video Games

Game Title As Character Notes Release Date
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter M25 AAW Captain Scott Mitchell 2006
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots XM25 Old Snake Based on mock-up 2008
Battlefield Play4Free XM-25 Airburst Grenade Launcher With RIS foregrip, firing manually-programmed impact/airburst grenade rounds 2011
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 XM25 Incorrectly seen as bolt-action in campaign 2011
ArmA III Cut from the final game 2013
Battlefield 4 XM25 2013
Counter-Strike Online "Vulcanus-5" Appears as an assault rifle which fires smart bullets 2015


See Also




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