XM25 CDTE renamed XM25 Individual Semiautomatic Air Burst System

The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) System has been renamed the XM25 Individual Semiautomatic Air Burst System. The former name sounded much to technical and could be applied to just about anything from shovels to hand grenades1. I rarely saw it used in Army PR. The new name has much greater congressional appeal 🙂

The Army has also announced that congress has granted an additional 24.7 million in funding for 36 new prototype XM25s to supplement the five already in the field.


  1. the term defilade refers to the use of terrain or obstacles to shield or conceal 



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.


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  • William C.

    So we’ve gone from IAWS to CDTES to ISABS?

    The Army sure loves their acronyms.

    • Alex Vostox

      In Malay language pull the alphabet ‘S’ in ‘ISABS’ and you’ll get ‘Isab’ that could be pronounced as ‘Hisap’ (Suck)..

    • aeronathan

      Only till the AARP kicks in next summer, the Army Acronym Reduction Program….

    • Bubba

      Please please please don’t get rid of “BUFF”.

      It’s my favorite military acronym ever.

  • jdun1911

    25 millions for 36 units. What a waste of money. I rather spend it on the really big guns.

    • Riceball

      The $25 million probably also accounts for ammo as well as the spare parts for the 36. The other thing to consider is that part of that price tag is because only 36 prototypes are being ordered meaning that the XM-25 is still not in regular production yet and the Army is probably ordering the 36 so they can issue them to more units for larger scale testing. If/when the XM-25 becomes the M-25 and goes into full scale production it’s guaranteed that economy of scale starts to kick in and the per unit price will come way down.

      • jdun

        Lets do the math. 25m/36= 694,444$ for each unit. That’s a pretty nice home for that kind of money. Hate to paid the property tax for it tho.

        You can buy a lot of body armor and other things the troops needs with 25 millions instead of 36 XM25 in a time of war and budget cuts.

        You do not need to spend that much money on testing a product that the result is already known. XM25 grenade is small and thus ineffective.

        It’s 25 million down the drain IMO.

      • Splodge

        Sure, $694,444 sounds like a hell of a lot… Until you note that these are prototypes and this is R&D.

        Speaking as someone involved in R&D – that’s actually kinda cheap.

        That price tag not only covers the cost of the weapon but also the cost of the production line, which must be developed alongside it. Big, expensive machines are needed to make this kind of stuff – expensive as in some machinery easily costing upwards of $1M. Then you have Dies, Moulds and special tooling to fit the various machines required throughout manufacture.

        Developing any product takes a hell of a lot of money.

  • Matt G.

    ISABS?

    Sounds like something embarrassing you have to go to your doctor to get a cream for…

  • Joe Hooker

    Why not go for something really catchy like XM25 Defilade Ball-Buster?

  • Almost 700 grand seems kind of steep for a fancy grenade launcher.

  • Yogsothoth

    Another step closer to the Space Marine bolter.

    • FishBoy

      Nah, that would be the Tau Airbursting Fragmentation Projector.

      • Alex Vostox

        Dunno but the barrel looks like a automobile exhaust..

    • Martin (M)

      So… that would make it Orkoid in origin? Does it launch Gretchen?

  • Denny

    In this instance we can almost ask what’s meaning of word “fighting” and what it entails in financial terms. To me, this is pure nad simple TECHNO-TOY. If I will want to fight someone, I will do it in similar terms (albeit perhaps with slightly superior arm if possible) as my oponent does. However, if I do not have to stick out my skin, it’s not fighting per se – it’s just a sloughter, something like execution. You can only guess what kind of ‘brave soldiers’ this requires. It’s simply overill.

    I read somewhere that one of those couple of prototypes they delivered for testing to A-stan was for ‘mere’ 35 grand. For that money, good luck fighting boys; I am sure you’ll beat crap out of them!

    • Denny

      Interesting harvest…. I wonder what caused all that discontent. On the other hand, there are some positives too. Just to clarify: as far as technology goes, it sure is exiting; it is in truth a quantum leap. But practise it on derwishes with old SVD’s at best? That sounds to me more like turkey shoot. Sure, for purpose of exercise it is ok.

      Oh yes, I also realize there is much stronger and more sofisticated oponent looming ahead. When that one will be encountered, it will be all different ballgame and every tool prepared beforehand will be of use. But this is politics, not guns…. sorry.

      • JamesD

        I think it was when you said this:
        “it’s not fighting per se – it’s just a sloughter, something like execution. You can only guess what kind of ‘brave soldiers’ this requires.”

        Well, you know what? If our soldiers can sit back and have a “turkey shoot” by firing a smart grenade through a window to clear a room from a safe distance, rather than have to risk their lives throwing a hand grenade through the window… I’m all for it.

        There is no such thing as a fair fight in war. The goal should be to make it as lopsided and devastating that your enemy thinks twice before firing at you.

  • me

    To put $35K per _prototype_ into perspective, these are our current Counter Defilade techniques:

    Javelin missile: $40k per shot, $120k launcher.

    Hellfire: $68k per shot, drone not included.

    (excluding 40mm on the assumption that they don’t work in the situations where the above are needed).

    Yes, this is expensive. But what we do now is More Expensive.

    • jdun

      Javelin and Hellfire missiles are big guns. Whoever have more big guns wins. Those system deserve the money. The XM25 not even close.

    • JamesD

      The Javelin and Hellfire may be expensive, but they are dirt cheap compared to the armor they destroy.

  • greensoup

    Its EXTREMELY expensive to manufacture on a small scale for prototyping. The number of functioning weapons is 36 as delivered. But in a process like this they may be working out manufacturing issues of scale, heavy duty tooling, molds etc. Not including high levels of fall out during an early production, all that manufacturing equipment is expensive AND production procedure have to meet military specs. Good luck getting anything out the door cheaply.

  • JT

    This makes me think of a souped-up Imperial Blaster rifle from Star Wars for some reason. Add in the power armor that DARPA is developing and all the other goodies that seem to be taken from Science fiction and soon script writers won’t even have to make stuff up any more.

  • Lance

    Its a good weapon but again weapons makers are over pricing it and the government is spending too much money on it.

  • MrTolliver

    Anyone know how much the Koreans are buyiing their K11’s for?

  • subase

    There must be some weird bureaucratic limitation on the U.S adopting south korean weapon technology. The K2 is a AK gas adjustable piston AR system that’s been working for over 25 years, yet the U.S chooses to adopt the HK416. The same applies to the airburst grenade launcher with the K11. It already works, is light and cheap, why not buy a license and manufacture it at home?

  • Chase

    “The former name sounded much to technical and could be applied to just about anything from shovels to hand grenades.”

    I find that this also describes a lot of other things that the U.S. military invents. Take the “Active Denial System,” you know, the truck-mounted microwave pain ray thing. Its name could describe ANYTHING. An M16 could be used as a System to Actively Deny people from entering a certain area. So could Claymore mines, or a line of soldiers empty-handed and ready to shove. “Active Denial System” seems carefully crafted to have no inherent meaning whatsoever, applicable to anything from shovels to hand grenades.

  • Avery

    So, they still haven’t just upped and name it the “Punisher” like the grunts have been calling it?

  • charles222

    I don’t suppose there’s been any more word on the anti-armor round for this? I’ve seen specs for it, and apparently it’ll penetrate 50mm of armor.

    To put that in perspective, a BMP-2 has 34mm at it’s thickest point (before ERA is on, anyway); a light infantry platoon with a few of these and the antiarmor rounds could absolutely shred its third world mechanized counterpart.

    I’m still amazed at just how sleek they’ve gotten the optic; I remember seeing the original OICW and the early version of the optic was just unbelievably massive.

  • JamesD

    Smart grenades aren’t cheap and neither is the weapon that fires them.

    But I still think it’s too expensive.