The Army’s shoulder-fired 25mm airburst weapon that many soldiers call “the Punisher” is slowly winning the approval of the infantry after a decade of scrutiny.
The boxy, futuristic-looking XM25 Counter-Defilade Target Engagement System recently completed a 14-month battlefield assessment and is on its way to earning a permanent position in the infantry squad beginning in 2014, Army weapons officials said.
XM25 is an offshoot of the Objective Individual Combat Weapon program the Army began in the mid-1990s to increase the effectiveness of soldier firepower.
The weapon features a target acquisition system that calculates the range to a target 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 XM25 has created a lot of excitement in the infantry community, but it has also attracted its share of criticism from door-kickers that the five-shot, 14-pound weapon system is more of a burden than a benefit to combat units.
I’m still aghast at the price, but if it works, it’s a lot more cost effective than the numbers first show.
And I think the obvious approach rather than putting one in each squad is to first assign one or two per platoon, in the weapons squad. That gives the leadership more control over a weapon with a small basic load.