Defense Review on XM25

ATK XM25 25mm Grenade Launcher for Future Infantry. Will it fly?

David Crane at Defense Review has a great post up on the XM25 Smart Grenade Launcher. Definitely worth a look-see.

(And I learned of it via Google News Alerts. How did Defense Review make the Google News list? That’s AWESOME!)


  1. Its not worth it. M16A2/203 fulfills requirement. Spending needed elsewhere, such as F/A-22. Go to for information.

  2. I stopped reading defense review a while ago. The ‘reviews’–more like advertisements–of mall-ninja tactical gear and especially all of the baloney about their centrifuge gun really turned me off. I mean if you’re going to invent a gun that violates the laws of physics, why not go all the way and have it shoot through wormholes using energy from a perpetual motion machine power supply? It really sounds to me like Crane is helping someone fish for a sucker to give them grant money.

  3. Tim, No, sorry, ground troop equipment needed before the F-22. We already dominate the air, this will help on the ground. F-22 will be built, but at a billion a pop. I think we can spare a few bucks for the infantry. Bob, the centrifuge gun is a workable invention. It does not violate the laws of physics (what were you talking about), and could be very useful due to it’s rate of fire, and ammo capacity.

  4. His claim that it does not experience recoil violates the law of conservation of momentum. Any projectile thrower must either counterbalance forces (as in a recoiless rifle) or experience recoil. The centrifugal force is a fictitious force, meaning that it cannot do work. It is actually just a convenient way of representing the inertial force from within an inertial reference frame. Also, his claim that it does not experience gyroscopic effects violates conservation of angular momentum. Even more amusing is his claim that it is silent: If the projectiles travel at 800 m/s, then the tangential velocity of the centrifuge must also be 800 m/s, which would produce a continuous sonic boom as irregularities on the disk (such as the rivets shown on the drawing) displace air. In short, the centrifuge gun is wishful thinking.

  5. On the other hand the XM25 looks pretty neat. But, I have to wonder, why are we shooting a small (20-25mm) grenade at high velocity? The velocity adds no terminal effect, we’re just airbursting it anyway. It would seem to make more sense to use a traditional 40mm grenade launcher, let the computerised aiming device calculate the angle, and draw a bullseye on the display for the soldier to aim at. I think this is similar to what the F2000 is supposed to do actually.

  6. bob, Gyroscopic effects on the DREAD, can be counterd by using a counter-rotating centrifuge. And while it is not silent, it is ‘quieter’ due to not burning gases. The XM-25 needs a CQB weapon, like a small (say .45 nine round) quick changeable MetalStorm tube. The M203 (or XM320) will certainly benefit from technology similar to the XM-25, but so would Rifle Grenades, which have bigger -boom- and less space restrictions, and without carrying the extra weight of a launcher: Cheers for the Future!

  7. bob, pat two: the velocity of the XM-25 is to acheive greater range and a flatter trajectory than the M203…aiming is less of a pain, faster too. It is given enough punch to go through obstacles like thin walls, doors, and windows… and thus detonate inside.

  8. It’s true that you could cancel out the gyroscopic effects by using a countergyro, but it would greatly add to the noise and complexity. As far as noise, think about it this way: If you’ve ever fired a silenced M4A1, you know that it gives off a sharp crack just from the sonic boom of the bullet. Now think about it: the outer edge of the centrifuge is travelling at 800 m/s… even when it’s not firing! I don’t know exactly what it would sound like with helical shock waves interfering with each other but ‘quiet’ is definitely not the word for it! Re: the XM25, I’ll give you greater range, call your easier aiming, and raise you a 40mm HEDP for barriers :-)

  9. OK already, forget the ‘Bayonet lug’. However, it would be nice if the R&D folks could come up with a 25mm ‘low-yield’ nuclear round.

  10. bob, I am sure the technical details of the DREAD are propreitary. I too will ‘believe it when I see it’ in action on the evening MO news. And it’s been over ten years since I have fired the M203, but I remember it well enough to think that the XM25 would be a godsend in aiming. And no doubt that 40mm would bust barriers but good…but if a soldier can be more lethal, at greater range, with a lighter round, dot dot dot.

  11. Toejam, actually I think a small attatchable C-Plus cannon would be handy for dealing with Berzerker war ships…you never know. Recoil should be light enough eh?

  12. Bob, The point about the noise levels is valid, but (don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming) the centrifuge is inside the housing with the rivets, and I am going to guess it has a mechanism or design that cancels out a lot of the problems you are suggesting. The sonic boom of the projectiles will still occur, but that is a much more diffuse sound than the firing of an M-2hb .50bmg. As to the lighter (smaller) grenades used in the XM-25, well, there’s several reasons for that. 1.) flatter trajectory 2.) greater range 3.) better accuracy (due to #1) 4.) capability to carry more rounds 5.) grenades based on existing rounds (25mm cannon-cuts development time/costs) 6.) lowered recoil 7.) semi-auto, shoulder fired weapon (look at the monstrosity we got trying to make an auto-grenade-gun(see mk. 19 hardly what I’d call man-portable))

  13. i would endorse the xm-25 IF,and thats a big ‘IF’,they can get the fusing/timing of the projectile down to within an acceptable degree of error(i,e,effective blast radius to ‘shower’the target area with enogth shrapnell).but therein to also lies the rub.seems they were having a dues of a time getting that particular part right back when it was the xm-29 sabr/oicw,rumour had it that there had been some ‘difficulty’ in finding the projectiles sweet spot.much good the thing will do if you can’t get the projectile there in the first place.also seems as though there is a question as to its lethality.they had increased the projectiles(xm-29 to xm-25)size from 20mm up to 25mm after the dual weapon configuration had been dropped from the oicw requirement.i suppose this will add more meat to the warhead,but that still means that,when it goes off,presumably right on top of johnny jihads unsuspecting head,that he’ll get a lethal enogth dose of pre-fragmented metal forcably thrust deeply enogth into his fevered,insurgant grey matter or other major bodily organ of your choice to send him on his way to collect his vestial reward.heres hoping the science translates into brutal reality.

  14. Both of those reasons are why it changed from a 20mm to a 25mm. Lethality has gone way up (they used the 25mm warhead from the apache/bradley, and are happy with it) and the reliability of the timing mechanism has gone way up due to the larger space they had to work with.

  15. FWIW: The projectiles used in the XM25’s ammo are not those of the 25x137mm cartridges used in the M2 Bradley’s Bushmaster cannon. However, the XM25 ammo is supposed to share warheads with the higher velocity ammunition used in the XM307 ACSW and XM109 Payload Rifle. The only thing being shared with the cannon rounds is certain fuse components.

  16. Sorry, DW is correct, I should’ve clarified that. They designed the new grenade warhead off of the current design for the 25 mm cannon. Needless to say, you couldn’t shoot the cannon round from the shoulder and keep your clavicle intact. They used the 25 mm cannon shell as the basis for the new design. That’s what I meant.

  17. Glad to see the Flechette round is still on the ammo list. With those babies, the M-25 gunner will not need a rifleman to protect him. He will need a mop to clean up any bad guys he hits.

  18. another detriment to the DREAD system is the same problem our fore fathers had during the American Revolution. ROUND BALLS SUCK! aerodynamically speaking, the round ball is about the worst projectile to send against downrange because it is very hard to stabilize for accuracy. That is why the mini ball was used during the civil war. If any of you have gone paintballing, you’ll know what i’m talking about.

  19. They should really try to combine the XM25 on to an FN-P90 with a 3 round 25mm and 50 round 5.7x28mm SS190 ammo and a serious weapons sight system- Laser GPS, Thermal, Infra-red, 5th Generation Night-Vision. All that in a compact size with programmable 25mm munnition, the weapon sight system could aquire the target and select the proper round for the target, or the soldier could do it manually. If you look at the design of the FN- P90 it has an ideal second trigger spot on the foregrip and the 3 rounds of 25mm could fit in the butt-stock via a clip or loaded individually. The weapons sight could even function as the main communication hub with a wireless headset for the soldier and small LCD, this would enable the soldier to keep his view constantly looking down his sights, where it should be. This weapon would give a serious edge for our SF and Central Command againt the terrorists and is complete feasible to build…

  20. I’d rather have something with a little more stopping power for close quarters support. 5.7, while a nice hole puncher, just doesn’t have appreciable terminal ballistics if the bullet doesn’t tumble right. Gimme my good old fashioned .45…say something like the HK MP7 scaled up to .45 ACP

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