$65 Million Contract for XM25 Ammo

A Soldier aims an XM25 weapon system at Aberdeen Test Center, Md.

A Soldier aims an XM25 weapon system at Aberdeen Test Center, Md.

A reader sent Murdoc this heads up: ATK wins $65M EMD contract for XM25 Airburst Weapon

The Army has quietly awarded Alliant TechSystems (ATK) a $65M contract for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, better know as the XM25 Individual Airburst Weapons System (IAWS), according to a contract press release published today.

ATK has the airburst ammunition contract for XM25; Heckler & Koch (HK), a German company, has the weapon development contract so I’d expect a similar award shortly for the weapon itself (unless HK is a sub-contractor to ATK, in which case this would be the only contract). An EMD contract award means the weapon has passed “Milestone B” and is formally ready for final design and development testing, which if successful is followed by a low rate production decision or “Milestone C”.

Murdoc remains hopeful about the XM25, but he’s not terribly optimistic. At least this contract means the end of $1,000-a-shot handloaded ammunition.


  1. The more I learn about this, the more I like it.

    It’s a game changing technology.

    And for the cost of one F-22 or 35.

    I hope it works!

    1. I’ve loved the concept from day one, but I remain skeptical that it really has enough lethality to work as advertised. Certainly it will be able to do some things that no other weapon we’ve got can, but I doubt it’s going to be a a truly revolutionary weapon on the battlefield.

      But I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from using it and the next one will be a step up.

  2. I heard they’re contracting with the Chinese to manufacture the airburst round.

    That should bring the cost of a round down to $1.50.

  3. Yea, but the Chinese round has a very high lead and mercury content, and 1 in 5 would likely be deffective. LOL!

  4. I still don’t see why they didn’t test the technology with an underbarrel launcher. You get multiple cheap launchers per squad, and one or two guys packing the “big gun”.
    Ah well, just a thought.

    1. I agree, I’m not sure how this is being deployed. Is it one per squad? One per fireteam? One per platoon? Do they carry this as part of the kit or does it replace their M4?

    2. They tried this with the XM29 OICW which was a 5.56mm/20mm weapon. Yet it was a bit bulky and they decided the 20mm grenade wasn’t lethal enough.

      A 5.56mm/25mm OICW would probably have simply been way too bulky.

      1. Yah, but the sighting system mounted on an M4 or M16, and coupled with a 40mm with the same warhead capabilities would have been simpler to deploy and test the technology without reducing the current capabilities of the grenadier. Then take the step up to the 25mm once the fusing and aiming tech is perfected.

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