The US Army’s XM25 “Punisher” airburst programmable infantry grenade launcher is being prepared for acceptance testing, but a major component, and a major source of criticism, has received an overhaul from the versions tested in Afghanistan. Military.com’s KitUp! reports on the new optic and fire control system being displayed at the Association of the US Army 2015 conference:
The Army has upgraded its 25mm airburst weapon by giving it a more streamlined fire-control optic with greater magnification power.
The improvements to the XM25 Counter-Defilade Target Engagement System are the result of soldier feedback that came from two battlefield assessments in Afghanistan.
“This is not the XM25 that went to Afghanistan a few years ago,” Robert Menti of Orbital ATK Armament Systems, the maker of the futuristic airburst weapon, said at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting.
The most noticeable change is the weapon now features a more streamlined fire-control system designed to calculates the range to target and transfers the data to an electronic fuse built into the 25mm round.
It’s still not small, but the new fire-control device is significantly more compact than the boxy system that used to sit on top of the weapon.
The newer design also features a 3X magnification compared to the older version that’s 2X, Menti said.
Since the XM25 was tested in Afghanistan, the weapon’s role has been made clearer. The new optic should allow the device to be more accurately aimed at longer ranges, addressing the Army’s concerns about lacking longer-ranged support weapons organic to the squad and platoon.