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XM25 Grenade Launcher
XM25 Grenade Launcher

Another weapon system may find its way from army to anti terror use in complicated situations.

The XM25 is an air burst grenade launcher. It was fielded to soldiers serving in the War in Afghanistan in 2010 and was planned to officially enter service in late 2015 but malfunctions and program budget cuts have put these plans in doubt.

The XM25 CDTE fires 25 mm grenades that are set to explode in mid-air at or near the target. A laser rangefinder in the weapon is used to determine the distance to the target.

The user can manually adjust the detonating distance by up to 10 feet (3.0 m) shorter or longer; the XM25 automatically transmits the detonating distance to the grenade in the firing chamber. The grenade tracks the distance it has traveled by the number of spiral rotations after it is fired then detonates at the proper distance to produce an air burst effect.

These features make the XM25 more effective than traditional grenade launchers at the task of hitting targets that are behind cover or dug into the ground.

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The system has been developed by Alliant Techsystems and Heckler & Koch, while the target acquisition/fire control is developed by L-3 IOS Brashear.

The XM25 has an effective range for point targets of 600 meters, and a maximum range for area targets of 700 meters. Conversely, the M203 grenade launcher has an effective range for point targets of 150 meters, and a maximum range for area targets of 350 meters.

Studies indicate that the XM25 with air burst rounds is 300 percent more effective at engaging the enemy than other squad-level grenade launchers. Alliant Techsystems has indicated that the rifle may later use bullets with smaller explosive charges which will stun opponents rather than killing them.

The US Army is working on a 40 mm autonomous airburst Small Arms Grenade Munitions (SAGM) round to give 40 mm grenade launchers airburst capabilities as a complementary system to the XM25.