New Army Smart Grenade

XM-25-Grenade-Launcher

Remember the XM25 CDTE (Counter Defilade Target Engagement) project? If not check it out here.

Here is a brief description/explanation of the XM25.

The 14-pound XM25 features a target acquisition system that calculates the target range with a push of a button, and transfers the data to the electronic fuse built into the 25mm round. When fired, the projectile is designed to explode directly above targets out to 600 meters, peppering enemy fighters with shrapnel.

The new Small Arms Grenade Munitions or SAGM for short, is an update for the 40mm grenades used in the M203 and M320 launchers. The scientists are utilizing modern technology. They make the fuse smart by adding sensors to the grenade.

With this new capability, which is fully autonomous on-board smart sensors, much like a smartphone, the grenade can perform a task without being told to do so by the user. It is designed so that, when fired, it will recognize its surroundings and can detonate over an obstacle that might conceal the enemy.

 

Here is a pdf I found detailing some of the concepts and design of the SAGM.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


Advertisement

  • Brent

    More arms the jackbooted thugs illegally keep from citizens while wiping their arse with the constitution.

    • Joshua

      Please, something like this is a much needed thing for the soldier. The XM25 program gave us amazing feedback on what we can do and how we can do it.

    • This is for our soldiers use in fighting our enemies. Keep the new weapons for our troops coming!

      • hydepark

        Lol. Who knew Phil was an apologist for tyranny? I guess everyone now. Oh well. Not every website can be as cutting edge as TTAG. Let me know what the pool gets up to on the MPX release date. One of us will make a lot of money come next March.

        • skusmc

          You can be for the US military having cutting edge weaponry, and the average street cop not having it at the same time…

          • echelon

            Except that doesn’t happen because after the taxpayers (Read: You, also read: Slave) have paid for it and it gets used to “fight terrorism abroad” (Read: Train and arm groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS) then the DoD decides to “gift” said weapons and armament to Federal, State and local police forces.

            Wow…when you actually read it that’s a lot of police forces. Exactly how many of those were around circa 1776, I wonder???

    • Yellow Devil

      Well you can take “solace” that at the average cost of $25,000 for each launcher and $24 for each smart round, not many citizens would fork out that kind of money for it.

      • sianmink

        Is that all? An Army issue M4 with optics and lasers and all the accessories

        costs the taxpayers something like $10,000.

        • Joshua

          Most of that cost comes from the ancillery items, M4A1’s only run $678 or so per rifle, sling, and one magazine.

      • Nicholas C

        Are you sure about that? I was told, by a class 3 gun smith, that 40mm smoke grenades were like a few hundred dollars a shot.

        • Cymond

          That might be a case of limited supply driving up prices. I doubt they cost that much to manufacture, and probably cost very little per-round when purchased in massive bulk amounts.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Isn’t that mostly due to the $200 tax a piece plus cost for 40mm anything?

          • Zachary marrs

            You can get chalk and smoke without the tax I think

          • jcitizen

            37mm is easy to get – 40mm is harder without paying a transfer fee. NFA looks at ammo and the device that launches it in a different light. It is still complicated of course – that is they way the regulators always like it.

    • O2OldSchool

      So you want to own a cutting-edge, distance variable 40mm HE/Frag launcher for… What?

      And yes, I do think you need a reason to own one considering the oft qouted, infallible founding father couldn’t possibly imagine how destructive handheld weaponry can be.

      • GUNxSPECTRE

        Don’t you know people not only want to shoot deer they also want to blow them up into a pink mist?

      • Zachary marrs

        Well, they already had cannons, and should we limit the first ammendment since they probably couldn’t imagine the internet? Do you realize that if we applied that “logic” to all of the Constitution, we would be slaves? That black men can walk free? That women could vote?

        Imagine if this had existed in 1776, and so obviously, the British Empire issued them, what makes you think that they would not be protected by the second ammendment?

        • Same dude

          You actually proved my point.

          The amendments to accommodate women’s suffrage and the piecemeal abolition of slavery were brought about by accepting new social realities and redefining the intent and word of the law.

          As far as limiting the first amendment, good luck finding any real, bona-fide traction for that. But the ability to do so was clearly built into the constitution.

          The concept of the constitution remaining a “fixed” document in philosophy and writing is a byproduct of 1800’s conservatism.

          • Zachary marrs

            The only reason why amendments were limited is because we let it happen. “Certain unalienable rights” while this was said in the declaration of independence, it served as the driving force behind the constitution, the first 10 amendments had all been violated in some way by the British

      • PK

        There were already grenade launchers in the 1700s. They were called hand mortars, and launched cast iron grenades.

      • skusmc

        You could literally own your own warship replete with cannons and weaponry in 1789. Then you could go out and get a letter of marque to plunder enemy ships.

        So, plainly speaking, you’re wrong.

    • Bill

      Dude, seriously, what would you possibly do with one of these? With the right paperwork you can already get a minigun, an antitank rifle or plain vanilla machine gun or black powder cannon. Pissed that you can’t have a Hellfire or Maverick missile? Do you have enough garage space for one?

      • Zachary marrs

        I dont need a reason. Do you need a reason to own a 30 round mag?

        Perhaps you should read the constitution. Nowhere does it say “only muskets” or “for sporting purpose only”

        • Bill

          You loose the right to use “just because” as a reason for anything once you graduate 3rd grade. If you want a grenade launcher, fill out the paperwork, pay your fees and you can have your very own grenade launcher.

          Those were tricorn hats the Founding Fathers wore, not tinfoil hats.

          • Zachary marrs

            Do you know why the 2nd ammendment was written? To stop a tyrannical government, thus it protects military grade equipment. Can you actually refute anything I said?

          • Bill

            You didn’t say anything to refute. You think our government is “tyrannical?” Because grenade launchers aren’t on the open market? Really? Wouldn’t you feel safer with your personal FA-18? Three separate branches of government and a Supreme Court clearly aren’t enough. Where did you go to law school? How about high school civics?

            Foolish me, I keep forgetting that common sense isn’t.

          • Zachary marrs

            Provided I knew how to fly, of course id feel safe with an fa 18. And if you dont think our government is tyrannical, you need to flush your headgear, new guy.

          • Bill

            Tyrannical like Russia, or Somalia, or Syria, or Cuba, or Myanmar, or Libya under Ghaddafi, or Afghanistan under the Taliban or Cambodia under Pol Pot or Yugoslavia under Tito? Or tyrannical because you have a hard time finding .22 ammo because everyone panicked over something that didn’t happen?

            No I don’t think our government is tyrannical, because I’ve seen governments that really were. There’s a lot more to the Bill of Rights than just the 2nd Amendment.

          • Zachary marrs

            Tyrannical is tyrannical, just because the ussr was worse, does not excuse our govt for all the things they’ve done.

            That would be like a government killing 3 million people over thier religion, but then saying “oh its ok, the nazis killed 6 million, so we are the good guys! ”

            Go home statist troll

          • Bill

            You are really good at name calling. Apparently your idea of “tyranny” is paperwork and fees. Pathetic.

          • Zachary marrs

            Thanks for correcting my error, its hard to be 100% correct while using my cell phone. But seriously, the lesser of two evils is still evil. And why is it stuck in your tiny brain this is only about the 2a? Have you heard of the Patriot act? The fact rhat the British had more respect for (what would become) the fourth amendment than cops do today? Seriously, if you think this is just about the second amendment, you need to take a remedial English class

            Otherwise take your ignorant views elsewhere, dont you have a musket to drool over while you say “no one needs more than 1 shot, no one needs the Internet, no one need to be outside after 9pm”

            Its not about needs, it nver has been

          • Zachary marrs

            Apparently, your idea of “tyranny” is the fact we aren’t called the peoples republic of Amerika”

            I get the feeling nothing would make you happier than to see that day

          • Zachary marrs

            And nowhere did I say the 2a was the only ammendment. Stop putting words in my mouth.

            Just admit that you hate freedom

          • Zachary marrs

            I have given you somthing to refute, I called your “logic” that I need a reason to own somthing into question.

            Can you refute it? Or are you just a fudd wondering what all this hoopla over smokeless powder is all about?

          • Zachary marrs

            “Common sense” to busybodys like you is to ban things that scare you

          • BeGe1

            I didn’t see him even give an opinion on the current state of our government. Measures to prevent a tyrannical government cannot logically be tossed out based on whether we currently have a tyrannical government or not. They are there to prevent it.

            By your logic, we don’t currently have a tyrannical government, therefore checks and separation powers can be thrown out, because they are measures to aid in preventing a tyrannical government, and our government isn’t tyrannical…so why do we NEED them?

            That would indeed come back to your own statement (though with a slightly different direction): common sense isn’t.

          • Bill

            No, that isn’t my logic, it’s that of the Framers. They designed in checks and balances so that we wouldn’t need to own grenade launchers. And they were far more familiar with a tyrannical government than anyone here, unless you are off Japanese ancestry and had relatives in an internment camp. Or were a victim of segregation. Or were a woman who couldn’t vote. And how were those changed? Not by grenade launchers. The system we have has faults, but they aren’t going to be solved by grenade launchers.

            And as I’ve said, there’s nothing to stop anyone who isn’t a felon from owning a Class3 weapon or AOW except paperwork. That ain’t tyranny.

          • BeGe1

            Really? The framers of the Constitution had no intention for an armed population to be one of the checks against tyranny? So I guess this writing from Tench Coxe is totally against what the founders intended:

            “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people, duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which shall be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”

            That couldn’t have been what the founders meant. Oh, wait, that’s right…he was one. And he also sent that writing to Madison (who WROTE the Bill of Rights and much of the Constitution) and in response Madison approved of the explanation, and told him that ratification of the amendments would benefit from Coxe’s “explanatory strictures”, and is “indebted to the co-operation of your pen.”. That explanation was then published before ratification, and was one of the most widely printed and accepted explanations of the amendment of the time as understood by both the population and their representatives doing the ratifying.

            I’m sorry, but anyone that says that the framers of the Constitution didn’t intend for an armed populace to be a check against possible tyranny is either lying or ignorant.

          • Zachary marrs

            Please tell me where i said “just because”

            Oh, I didn’t. The second amendment says nothing about deer huntin’ hell, they could ban your fudd rifle, and it’d be completely constitutional, the second amendment was created to keep the government in check. I will not matter how many checks and balances you have, nor how many Congressmen, they will eventually turn against the people, if you cant see where that leads, I hear about this magical place called “north Korea”, why dont you take your statist self up there, they’d love to have you

          • mosinman

            why should we have to ask permission (not to mention they have control of the supply IE: machine guns) and then pay a fee to the government for something we should be allowed to have as both private citizens and militia as stated by the second amendment?

    • echelon

      Exactly what I was thinking. A new way for our government to wipe us out…

  • allannon

    I wonder when this’ll get combined with technologies from the self-correcting .50 round. It’d really ruin someone’s day to have a grenade come around a corner and blow up over their head. 😉

    • DARPA has been working on a guided 40mm grenade called the SCORPION (Self CORrecting Projectile for Infantry OperatioN).

      • mechamaster

        Miniature version of Precision Guided Mortar Munition ( PGMM )… Wow.

    • JSmath

      You say that as though the “self-correcting .50 round” came first. It didn’t. I’ll leave it to you (or a different, generous commenter) to find the original guided munitions. The technologies has been around for some time, actually, and they were actually in combination to begin with, with some of the rounds I am referring to.

  • USMC03Vet

    All I know about the XM25 is that in Battlefield 4 it’s pretty tits.

    TGIF, TFB Readers!

    • GUNxSPECTRE

      lulz

    • Joshua

      It was tits in real life to. Both it and the ammunition was expensive, though it was super effective.

      • Patrick Mingle

        It was the tits. Until it blew up in your hands that is

        • Joshua

          Caused by a double feed. You could know what your talking about before making a comment like that.

          It was an ammunition flaw, that came to light when the magazine double fed.

          • Patrick Mingle

            It was just a joke. No need to get upset

      • n0truscotsman

        It set a precident thats for sure.

        Future grenade-type weapons that are smarter will most certainly be integral of unit MTOEs in the future. Hell undoubtedly BTOEs. To say otherwise is simply foolish.

        I remember when weapon lights and aimpoints were first cool, back to what seems like an eternity now…

      • Geodkyt

        Of course, the 40mm version of basically the XM25 ammo (available for a few years from ST Kinetics of Singapore*) are no more expensive, can be fired in legacy 40mm grenade launchers, and has a larger and more effective warhead than the 25mm.

        Let’s face it — airburst behind the wall (or delay after punching light cover) is awesome. But it’s even awesomer when it’s a 40mm warhead rather than a 25mm warhead.

        It’s nice that these new 40mm the Army is developing are “fully autonomous” fuzes (unlike the ST Kinetic ones, which required you push a button on a programming unit, exactly like the XM25). . . of course, that means you CAN’T chose the fuze style, which also limits your choices – even the XM25 allowed direct impact (where, for example, there was no “overhead” access to the target).

        .
        .
        .

        * The ST Kinetics version uses a “clip on” ultra short range RF programmer to set the fuze, meaning it can be utilized with ANY standard grenade launcher where you can mount this within a couple of inches from the barrel. And not only can you continue to fire legacy 40mm ammo, but the super cool programmable rounds work just fine as traditional impact fuzed grenades if the grenades aren’t programmed before firing (lack of time, gadget broke, gadget not present, etc.)

    • Darren Hruska

      XM25 4 BKs!!! :-p
      I think it’s going to get nerfed though.

    • Anonymous

      If it’s anything like the XM25 in that game, your expected friendly fire deaths would be extremely high.

  • STK has been working on airburst 40x46mm for several years now. It already exists in 40x53mm for the Mk 47 Mod 0 AGL.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Looks like the author of the PDF has it out for the French. The enemy combatant with airburst over his head is holding a FAMAS rifle.

    • Wetcoaster

      FAMAS did see a few export customers. The Croatian VHS also has a similar look.

      Ironically, the AR15 family will probably be the next most common OPFOR weapon.

      LOTS and LOTS of manufacturers everywhere, plus there’s the leakage from the forces of the countries being supplied to. Meanwhile, how many new AKMs are still being made and sold?

      • Abakan

        Couple of hundred thousand a year? You need to keep in mind the AK is more than ten times cheaper to make than the AR. The AK is in it’s own league cost wise.

        • Wetcoaster

          It’s in its own league cost-wise because so many were made and then basically given away to client states during the cold war. Unless some of the big factories are still churning out AKMs, then the current (quite substantial, admittedly) pool is close to as big as it will get and guns will be removed from the pool all the time via attrition, battle damage, etc.

          Meanwhile, fresh AR15s are still being fed into the pool of available guns. Canada supplied C7s to the ANA. The US no doubt supplies/supplied more than a few guns to the Iraqis and Afghans. Iran makes an A1 clone and they’ve armed Hezbollah and other irregular forces before.

          Even where the US (or Canada or whoever the hell else – some of those Libyan rebels had some pretty new euro guns, IIRC) isn’t just giving away guns, Norinco supplies quite workable M4gery clones (commercial buffer tube, flat-top upper, 1-in-9 twist 14.5″ chrome-lined barrels) in volume without meddlesome State Dept restrictions at wholesale prices.

          As long as new AR15s are being fed in and new AKs are not, it’s only a matter of time* before they become the predominant weapon.

          *Yes, it might be quite a while with the head start the AK has in proliferation.

          • n0truscotsman

            by 2020, I foresee the stoner family as the dominant fighting rifle in the hands of EVERYBODY, superceding AKs.

            The AK74 family sure isn’t gaining the same traction, thats for sure.

          • J.T.

            The 74 and 5.45×39 never gained traction outside of the Warsaw pact countries (most of which were forced by the USSR to adopt the new round) because none of the export customers for the AK wanted to spend the money to switch over domestic ammunition production to a new cartridge and render their stockpiles unusable at the same time.

  • John

    Does this mean riflemen with underslung grenade launchers get 40mm “smart” airburst rounds?

    Because that would be awesome.

    • Paul Epstein

      The PDF specifically says that it’s intended to be used with existing underslung launchers, M203 and M320. How that would work, and whether they’ve actually gotten it working, the PDF doesn’t say. Considering the Milkor 6-shot uses identical ammunition specs, it’s logical it would work with that as well.

      Bigger question is whether they’ll actually manufacture and issue it in big enough numbers for most infantry to see it, even if it works perfectly. It’s bound to be extremely expensive compared to current loads.

    • Geodkyt

      The entire sensor package is in the warhead. “Brilliant” rounds, rather than just “smart” rounds, like the XM25 used.

      Cost will be astronomical. Merely “smart” rounds (even though it would require a “programmer” clipped to the weapon, and for the shooter to touch a button before firing) would be far more cost effective.

      Plus, problems noted above, with the “brilliant” fuze not necessarily “knowing” exactly which closest approach target you want it to trigger on. We used to practice chunking 40mm through windows. . . it would suck if you airbursted 2 meters outside the window of a concrete structure, instead of inside the room where the machinegun position you are trying to engage is. . .

  • Fitz19d

    Lot of comments sound like they think this is 40mm, it’s 25mm and been in development forever. (I remember an advanced engineering mag from like 2003 with it and the supposed .50cal replacement when it was still in development by Advanced Dynamics or whatever.)

    I’ve heard of at least 2-3 instances of testing in the field where it exploded. Sounded like the thing was allowing a partial trigger press to arm the round or something, and then when fired immediately detonated. I still love the idea of the thing, just being so radically knew definately sounds like it’s got its share of kinks to work out.

    • GUNxSPECTRE

      I agree, the thing’s got A LOT of potential and last I heard being used in the field, the troops using them were liking them too. Sure there was the accident, but like you said, it’s got some work to do.

      People often forget (especially armchair generals and operators) that NOTHING comes out of the box perfect. They see a rifle or something that jams and immediately throw it up in the air and call it doomed to failure. Refinements over time are the key to a successful end product.

      • Joshua

        The M25 was super effective and Taliban never knew what hit them. Intercepted chatter always had them freaking out when they were getting pounded by the 25mm rounds.

        Its just expensive, as is the ammunition.

    • Commonsense23

      Did you read the article, and the PDF linked. it clearly states the development of a new 40mm airbursting grenade.

    • JSmath

      People don’t -think- it’s 40mm, they know it is.

      The 25mm munition and launchers have been shelved. This project is a matter of retrofitting the concept/tech to the older, still in-use (and to be used until a much later time) 40mm inventories.

    • nobody

      >I’ve heard of at least 2-3 instances of testing in the field where it
      exploded. Sounded like the thing was allowing a partial trigger press to
      arm the round or something, and then when fired immediately detonated.

      No, the explosions were the result of double feeds combined with grunts breaking off the plastic nose protectors on the rounds because they were board at the time, without the plastic nose protector the nose of the next round being fed would hit the primer of a round in the chamber in the case of a double feed and make the gun KB (I’ve seen pictures of the same thing happening with a Mosin Nagant and the user getting some shrapnel in their hand). This problem was fixed by recessing the primer slightly and is now no longer an issue.

  • kev

    The Israelis were working on something similar as was rheinmetall with the hydra and Cerberus launchers so this is really a practical project, keep em coming!

  • Lance

    Logical upgrade to use a smart grenade that is standard NATO 40mm not some underpowered 25mm. This was a long time coming.

  • Secundius

    I thought the XM25 was intended to replace the M3 Carl Gustav???

  • mechamaster

    I see in next 5-10 years, we have 40mm mini-missile launched from under-slung grenade launcher or MGL.

  • nobody

    I can understand wanting to make soldiers more effective while lightening their load, but this seems like a bad way to go about doing so. What is going to keep the grenade from exploding before it reaches the target if you have to shoot over a defilade to reach the target, or other problems with the grenades not exploding where you want them to? It also seems like the grenades would end up costing even more than the 25mm ones that just depended on a programmable timer. It would seem to me that the better option would be to experiment with a single shot 25mm launcher, the lighter ammunition (supposedly the 25mm grenades weigh about 40% less than what the 40mm grenades weigh) should make up for the weight increase from the smart optics for programing the grenades (and also increase the effective range due to the 25mm grenades traveling at a higher velocity).

    • Geodkyt

      ST Kinetics (see my comment above) basically did what you are describing: a 40mm standard grenade, using basically the same sort of “dial a fuze” programmability as the XM25 (with a default setting of “impact” if not programmed), that used a clip on ultra-low power RF programmer that could be added to any 40mm GL.

      By not putting the sophisticated “autonomous” circuits in the warhead, cost per round would be MUCH lower than the “brilliant” rounds featured here..

  • big daddy

    The whole idea of a 25mm version was just plain stupid, they wasted millions of dollars. Not enough room for an effective amount of explosive and projectiles. They should have started with the 40m from the beginning. I wonder why they did not adopt a “bouncing betty”? That would seem more effective, cheaper and easier to use. This takes time to set the electronics, that would seem dangerous and time consuming in a fluid battle. A warhead exploding overhead doesn’t seem as effective as one going off chest/waist high. With helmets and body armor an over the head explosion wastes half of the projectiles by going up into the sky and not down at the targets. A warhead going off within a group of soldiers seems much more deadly than going off over their head.

    • The US did develop a bounding 40x46mm round, the M397. I’ve never heard why it didn’t see wider circulation before being declared obsolete. The Bulgarian firm Kintex offers a bounding 40x46mm round inspired by the Russian VOG-25P design.

      http://www.kintex.bg/product-4-230

  • Abakan

    The cutting edge in jump scares 🙂

  • Jeff

    Every time the Army decides to stick with the M4 in its rifle contests it’s simply because what they want to replace the M4 with is something yet invented but probably closer to the XM-25 than a SCAR or H&K.

  • mallninja

    Just some idea from someone without military experience.

    Why don’t they turn XM25 into more lightweight underbarrel launcher.
    I think semi-auto 25mm underbarrel launcher with 3-4 rounds magazine would be a versatile weapon.

    • After multishot 40x46mm launchers proved to be too bulky, DARPA and the US Army played with experimental multishot underbarrel 30mm grenade launchers back in the 1970s. One of the designers, George Reynolds, is probably better known for his work on the ArmaLite AR-50 rifle.

      • mallninja

        Thanks for replying.

        I think OICW is too ahead off its time and the army expected too much from it.

        Right now, I think it only need rangefinders and programmable fuse. If you remove other components, it might help reduce the weight.

        25mm is more suit for urban environment. When you need to take out someone in the building you use 25mm, save 40mm for bigger threats.

        • For years, Honeywell/ATK and Knox Engineering tried to promote a standalone semi-auto design using the 30mm grenade, but it never went anywhere.

    • LCON

      The XM25 was originally part of the XM29 grenade launcher which was a semi auto over barrel system feed from a 5 shot magazine..

      http://www.hkpro.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30:the-oicw&catid=11:rare-prototypes&Itemid=5

      In those days it was a 20x85mm grenade round mated to a G36C derived carbine ( which it’s self would become the basis of the aborted XM8) it was big bulky and weight almost 19 pounds. the gas system of the Semiautomatic component and the recoil demanded placing the launcher over the carbine and a heavy weight. The Korean K11 reduces the weight of the concept by using a bolt action. this gives it a weight of about 14 pounds. or roughly equal to the weight of the XM25.
      they might be able to cook up a adaptor for single shot 40mm systems but this still losses one of the key features. the Fire control system. with out that Airburst is out.

  • Fallschirmjager

    I guess the need for a ‘smart’ grenade is needed now, more than ever. I mean, considering what public schools are fielding. Their grenades have to be smarter than the dumb troopers. At least it would balance the intelligence equation so you’d have a lesser chance the guy beside you wouldn’t blow you up when he sent it down range. LOL!