There have been numerous stories in the media lately covering the XM25’s forward operational assessment in Afghanistan. We wanted to provide an update on PEO Soldier LIVE with the facts.
- The Army is currently conducting a forward operational assessment of the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) System in Afghanistan.
- Prototypes arrived in theater in Afghanistan in November. Project Manager Soldier Weapons personnel conducted new equipment training with select units and are monitoring the use and performance of the systems during the assessment period.
- The prototype weapons are being carried actively on patrols, and in various combat outposts. Soldier feedback at this stage will allow the Army to make engineering refinements to the system and will assist the Army in making future decisions regarding budget, tactics, basis of issue, and other improvements Soldiers want to see in the weapon system.
- The next phase for the XM25 program is to build a quantity of production representative weapons and ammunition to deploy into theater for further combat assessments.
- Finally, with testing complete and Army approvals in place, systems will be produced and issued beginning in 2014 – enough to support one per infantry squad and Special Forces Team.
Why a “Game Changer”
For centuries, combatants have been trained to protect themselves from direct fire by seeking cover behind a rock, tree, wall, trench, or anything that could stop a projectile. Soon this rule will no longer apply. The XM25 removes an enemy’s protective cover because it fires a High Explosive Airburst (HEAB) round that can be programmed to detonate at precise distances past the cover and next to the enemy. The HEAB round also has a point detonation capability so whether the enemy is behind cover or in the open, they can be neutralized.
The introduction of the XM25 is akin to other revolutionary systems such as the machine gun, the airplane and the tank, all of which changed battlefield tactics. No longer will our Soldiers have to expose themselves by firing and maneuvering to eliminate an enemy behind cover. Our Soldiers can remain covered/protected and use their XM25 to neutralize an enemy in his covered position. This will significantly reduce the risk of U.S. casualties and change the way we fight.
Finally, the system is less expensive, more precise, quicker to deploy, and causes less collateral damage than mortars, artillery or airstrikes. This makes the weapon especially valuable in Afghanistan where protecting the lives and property of the civilian population is critical while defeating the insurgency.
For more information on the XM25, you can read my article, “Nowhere to Hide — A ‘Smart’ Individual Weapon System for the Soldier,” which features information on how the system works in a battlefield scenario.
Lt. Col. Chris Lehner
Product Manager Individual Weapons
PM Soldier Weapons