Friday, September 9, 2016

Army Defends New Airburst Weapon Targeted by Pentagon Critics

Army weapons officials are planning a late-September response to Pentagon investigators' recent criticisms of the XM25 as the service wrestles with how this high-tech but heavy 25mm airburst weapon will fit into combat formations.
In late August, the Pentagon's Inspector General released a scathing audit of the XM25 program, criticizing the service for repeatedly delaying the weapon's initial production decision and failing to justify a basis of issue plan.
Nicknamed "the Punisher" and designed by Orbital ATK Inc. and Heckler & Koch, the XM25 is a shoulder-fired weapon featuring a target acquisition/fire control system that allows soldiers to identify a target, determine the range and program the 25mm ammunition to explode above or near enemy fighters out to 600 meters.
But the sophisticated weapon has been plagued by two years of program delays after a 2013 malfunction that inflicted minor injuries to a soldier during its second round of operational testing in Afghanistan.
The double feed and an unintentional primer ignition of one of the 25mm high explosive rounds prompted the Army to halt the operational testing and pull all prototypes from theater.  more