Playing with the XM25 airburst weapon

Danger Room reporters got the opportunity to test the Army’s new airburst grenade launcher.

This screen grab from a high-speed camera shows the round detonating just inside a window target. Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, the head of PEO Soldier, told reporters that the $30,000 weapon had already been delivered to the Special Forces and they “going to be taking it downrange this summer.” said the following about the new weapon system ..

Back when we spoke with Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway, we mentioned this gap and he said that from his perspective the XM-25 has great promise. Seems this is really a weapon Grunts could appreciate.

When the snake eaters put the system through its paces in Afghanistan, we’ll truly see the effectiveness of the weapon and its durability. But in the end, it will surely be useful for Joes – and anyone else in the U.S. military – to have this precision, direct fire weapon that can eliminate threats from 700 meters.

[ Many thanks to J.T. and Mik for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Lance

    Looks cool.

  • Junkball

    Stupid the Army fields a system dubbed unworkable previously, missing only the G36-based KE component.

  • jdun1911

    Yeah it looks cool but it does not have the power to do any meaningful damage.

    It is too small and the war head is smaller. I would not trust that with my life not cleaning out a room or enemy in cover.

  • Edward

    The previous warhead was 20mm, this is supposed to be 25mm — specifically the same found in the old XM307 “OCSW” and in the Barrett XM109 (basically the “Barrett .50” in 25mm).

  • Clodboy

    “Stupid the Army fields a system dubbed unworkable previously, missing only the G36-based KE component.”

    Probably because removing the G36-based KE component also removes what was probably the biggest problem with the OICW, namely that it was exceedingly heavy and bulky.

    And as Edward has stated, the 25mm warhead offers significantly greater firepower. Yes, it still doesn’t provide near as much of a bang as a 40mm, but this should be more than compensated by the significantly higher ROF and accuracy (not to mention the airburst function).

    Remember the South African PAW-20 “Personal Area Weapon” that was on here a few months ago? Maybe that is how the military views the XM-25: Not as a replacement for traditional 40mm’s, but rather a weapon that can provide long-range suppression by more accurately delivering a smaller warhead at greater ranges.

  • Maigo

    airburst is cheating

  • Shoot standard projectiles at a mud/stone house and you’ll have combatants hiding behind the walls, waiting.

    Start lobbing these through windows, and they’ll probably want to GTFO, if they’re still capable of doing so.

    It creates an undeniable advantage by removing the utility of cover.

  • charles222

    Yeah, the Bradley’s gun is 25mm, and that is fused as well and I’ve never heard anybody complain that that isn’t extremely lethal against infantry.

  • Some Guy

    For anyone who thinks that this isn’t lethal… you go stand in front of it. Hell, you go stand 15 feet away from it. You will probably die. The sheer over pressurization of the explosive liquefying your organs is probably enough to kill you within 15 feet.

    The .50 caliber “High explosive incendiary armor piercing” round is technically, 1/4 the size of this grenade. And, technically, the actual explosive is about 1/12 to 1/16 the size, as most of the .50 caliber explosive is stored inside the actual bullet, not to mention that there is incendiary material in there, rather than explosive.

    The 25mm grenade is exactly that, a grenade, not designed to kill with KE like the .50 caliber round, but with pure explosive and fragmentation.

    The .50 caliber high explosive incendiary armor piercing round is credited with killing three people behind a cement wall in a single shot.

    I’m pretty sure that the 25mm grenade, which is about 4 times as big (25 to 12.7mm meaning double area, but of course PiR^2 determines volume, meaning that it’s 4 times as much), and contains a lot more explosive material, will be fine.