Patterico's Pontifications


Warporn Sweetness: The XM-25

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:02 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Via The Sun we learn about this bad boy.

Dubbed the “Game Changer”, the XM-25 fires a massive round which can be programmed by computer to explode after travelling any set distance.

This effectively turns the bullet into a grenade which penetrates hiding places and then blows up – meaning concealed enemy fighters are denied cover.

Military chiefs believe the £20,000 American-made gun, seen above being demonstrated by a US soldier, will transform the fortunes of Our Boys battling in the Afghanistan war zone.

Insurgents often take pot shots at troops from buildings and then duck down and hide behind walls or in trenches.

Until now it has been hard to hit back with conventional light weapons. But the XM-25’s huge 25mm round, capable of being fired the length of eight football pitches, will leave rebel gunmen with nowhere to hide.

Its gunsight uses a laser rangefinder to determine the exact distance to a target.

Soldiers can add or subtract up to 3m to programme bullets to explode in front of, behind, above or beside the enemy.

This will let them, for example, target a sniper in a trench without calling in an air strike.

The first XM-25s have already been distributed to US combat units and could be given to British Special Forces.

US Army spokesman Lt Col Christopher Lehner said: “Tactics will be rewritten. The only thing we can see enemies being able to do is run away.”

Okay, now this is the nerd in me coming out (yeah, it doesn’t take much), but this sounds almost like a Ratchet and Clank type gun.  Which raises the question… where is my damn mini-Nuke?

You can learn more about the real weapon, here.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

30 Responses to “Warporn Sweetness: The XM-25”

  1. Seems amazing, though the ammunition is heavy.

    It’s technically a bullet, but it’s a fourth the weight of the M203’s 40mm round. You’ll need at least a couple of people to tow around a good amount of ammunition.

    Still, love to see this weapon finally reach the battlefield. Amazed at the price, and I’m sure it will be a real treat to maintain (sarcasm).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  2. Bad boy is right. I didn’t think there was much more technology that could be added to rifles. I was wrong. Can I get the paint ball edition?

    norcal (40d033)

  3. The only thing that would be cooler, would be that
    heat seeking bullet from that Tom Selleck film of
    the mid 80s

    narciso (9d0688)

  4. Runaway with Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons.

    Narciso’s bullet is at 0:54

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  5. It isn’t a bullet. It is a grenade and a variation and miniaturization of a tactical round that has been trying to deploy with armor since the 90’s called the STAFF round. Honestly, I would think this weapon would be deployed with a squad in the same way a MMG would be. An operator and an ammo carrier each armed with personal weapons in addition to their weapon system. On a patrol, I would expect the patrol leader to have this as his/her personal weapon to use as needed instead of a M4/M16.

    That being said, it is a nice piece of engineering.

    MunDane68 (54a83b)

  6. “It isn’t a bullet. ”

    Semantics, I guess. But you’re right. It’s not like what you load into your pistol or rifle.

    I like your plan for deploying the weapon. I had an M249 and my battle buddy carried a lot of my ammo (while armed with an M16). That was in training ages ago, but I’m sure the military will do something similar with this.

    I’m just trying to imagine how heavy the combat load will be.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  7. America. F*ck yeah!

    Blue Ox (ff919a)

  8. This seems to be an individualed version of a crew-served cannon/MG that has been used for some time – one that can be converted from its’ cannon function to a .50-cal machine gun in under two minutes.
    The cannon uses this programmable ammo that can fly through a window (open or closed) and detonate inside the structure without contact – sniper pops up in a window and takes a shot, range on the wall and add 1-meter, fire the round and it flies through the window and explodes inside…Bye, bye, sniper. And, you can use interchangeable HE, AP, Frag, etc rounds.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a9b69c)

  9. The load will be similar to what the M203 gunner carries I would imagine. That is its roll. 25mm instead of 40mm means more rounds, probably.

    SGT Ted (5d10ae)

  10. Manufacturer’s video here.

    Its a smart grenade launcher with a smart fuze that allows an airburst behind/above cover to attack enfiladed enemy personnel.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. What, no red sauce?

    daleyrocks (df87cd)

  12. First the explosion, then lots of “red sauce”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a9b69c)

  13. AD – I like my war pron with red sauce, but you can’t have everything.

    daleyrocks (df87cd)

  14. I’m just trying to imagine how heavy the combat load will be.

    dude: that’s easy…… if you are 11, 12, 18, 19 or 03, it’s gonna be heavy.

    that’s why they call it Light Infantry.

    /twas ever thus

    redc1c4, resident 11 Bravo (fb8750)

  15. Combine this with the recently demonstrated ‘around corners laser sighting’* and you’ve got a real winner. Although even without ‘seeing’ exactly where the opforce is behind a barrier, one can certainly estimate well enough to get one of these rounds into the high P_kill radius.

    * Basically a picosecond scattering reflectometer approach – one link about it is here, but it’s not the primary:
    UPI Laser Sight story

    rtrski (b47753)

  16. Don’t forget 31.

    SGT Ted (5d10ae)

  17. Combine this with the recently demonstrated ‘around corners laser sighting’* and you’ve got a real winner

    I remember reading about this new development about six months ago, and this post confused me a little. Are these two entirely different systems, or one and the same ( albeit using different loads)? I’m just a layperson.

    Dmac (498ece)

  18. I give ’em a month before they start dragging small children along with ’em. Leave the childs body behind, drag away the sniper and call CNN.

    Gerald A (aca5e4)

  19. Gerald A., the palestinians already did that years ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  20. I wouldn’t think a 25mm (1-inch) grenade would reliably kill or even disable a soldier, particularly if he’s wearing a helmet and flak vest. You’d get him to want to move, though, which is also quite useful.

    DWPittelli (d1797c)

  21. I wouldn’t think a 25mm (1-inch) grenade would reliably kill or even disable a soldier

    It will probably widen his shot group, to say the least. And it could have a tremendous psychological impact. No longer can you hide behind things, so maybe you should just go back to your cave and pray.

    Or Gerald A’s mention tactic will lead this weapon to not be used unless someone verifies there are no kids in the sniper nest (I realize this is absurd and stupid, but so is our administration).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  22. If you look at the video link above, you’ll see that the beaten zone of the fragments is small. However, it looks like a fairly short range system with direct line of sight aiming. I don’t know how widely issued its intended to be.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  23. SPQR, I don’t believe this is the useful range by any stretch of the imagination, but they claim a range of over 700 yards.

    I’m sure only the gifted can use this accurately at 300 yards.

    At that price, you can bet it won’t be issued to many people. I worry about its reliability.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  24. Re: #17: The laser ‘sight’ that sees around corners is completely independent of the laser rangefinder used on the XM-25. I was just noting that the two technologies would be complementary. One lets you ‘see’ around obstacles (assuming there’s a suitable hard surface to get a good clean bounce off of). The other lets you time a detonation to hit that location.

    The system could be further refined with shaped charge options – e.g. set the load to detonate completely (spherical blast) or only the ‘front half’ detonates throwing more shrapnel to the back (assuming you’re shooting over a wall and want the bulk of the shrapnel hitting the backside of the wall). Although that might actually take different loads, not just one universal load with different detonation settings.

    rtrski (192cf0)

  25. I imagine in coming years troops will have weapons that are connected to airborne enemy tracking. Their weapon might just light up with something like an artillery fire mission sent from JStars, to kill a sniper in a building they can’t see. Just point at the elevation and azimuth and pull the trigger, and let the weapon do the rest.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  26. More, please. “Left|Right Side blast”, too, not quite shooting around a corner. Maybe “Left|Right Side then blast”, knock the projectile sideways with one charge then explode the other five (of six) charges.

    htom (412a17)

  27. htom, that sounds cool, but I’m sure these rounds are spinning and the control for that blast would be heavy and reduce range.

    But hopefully Darpa is figuring out a way around it, because that would be a huge improvement.

    What’s interesting to me is that this is weapon is drastically safer for innocent people around a combat zone (who have no business being there, to be honest) than an M203. There seem to be many vets here, so I’m sure most of them remember trying to fire a grenade by leaf sights while guesstimating range. It was fun trying to sink a paint grenade inside the hatch of a tank, and I made it in a few times, but I usually painted the tank orange.

    We’re moving to smaller and more precise weapons at tremendous expense, and that’s going to save a lot of civilian life. It wasn’t long ago that I was marveling that GMLRS was so much more precise than regular artillery, and that takes out a building at a time (0:45).

    I hope we’re retaining and enhancing our ability to fight traditional wars too. The XM25 is an incredibly inefficient way to fight that only makes sense in certain situations.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  28. I recall reading about this a year ago or so. The round knows how much distance it’s covered by counting rotations around the axis. If it knows that, and can count that fast, is should know which side is up, down, left and right.

    And then the scenario from #26 isn’t that far fetched.

    Pious Agnostic (291f9a)

  29. And then the scenario from #26 isn’t that far fetched.

    Comment by Pious Agnostic —

    That’s amazing. And you’re right… it’s more feasible than I thought.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  30. A 25mm round loaded with RDX is going to put out shrapnel going 3x the speed of sound, if I remember my info right. That is faster than any bullet. The concussion of the blast alone within a meter would probably be enough to kill, if not incapacitate.

    Furthermore, Hamid doesn’t usually wear Kevlar, he trusts in Allah to keep him safe the same way that Allah aims his rifle at the infidel invaders.

    MunDane68 (54a83b)

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