This seems to be the first new news on this weapon for quite some time. I did a write-up (based on a Strategy Page post, actually) back in February of 2004. Check it out for the basics on this smart grenade launcher that was developed from part of the XM29 OICW.
The XM8, developed from the other part of the XM29, is sort of like this baby’s big brother. But the little guy has a good chance of showing up his sibling in the end. While the XM8 hopes to become the new main assault rifle, it’s really just a new generation of an existing idea. The XM25 could usher in a whole new era of infantry weapons.
The XM25 fires a High Explosive (HE), air bursting 25mm round capable of defeating an enemy behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole. The advanced design allows the operator to program the round so that it flies to the target and detonates at a precise point in the air. It does not require impact to detonate.
While the trusted M203 has served well for a long time, this new grenade launcher is cutting edge:
The revolutionary fire control system for the XM25 employs an advanced laser rangefinder that transmits information to the chambered 25mm round. As the round flies downrange to the target, it precisely measures the distance traveled and detonates at exactly the right moment to deliver maximum effectiveness. The XM25 increases the warfighter’s probability of hit-to-kill performance by up to 500 percent over existing weapons. It also extends the effective range of the soldier’s individual weapon to more than 500 meters.
Six prototypes have been delivered to the Army for testing. If all goes according to plan, the XM8 could enter production in 2008.