Archive for the ‘X Weapons’ Category
The Army’s XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement system has been removed from service after a training accident injured a soldier in Afghanistan early last month.
A soldier was injured during a Feb. 2 live-fire training event during which the primer of a 25mm high-explosive air burst round ignited as a result of a double feed, according to Army spokesman Matthew Bourke.
The injuries were superficial.
The Army really hypes this thing, but Murdoc has heard that the 25mm round is lacking in lethality.
A secretive unmanned space plane is now in orbit for 270 days – and plans are to keep it up there a bit longer.
The experimental Air Force craft, known as the Orbital Test Vehicle-2, has been circling the Earth for about nine months. The X-37B orbital test vehicle was due to land in California this week, but the Air Force said Tuesday that the mission will be extended. A landing date has not been set.
It was launched on March 5th. Let’s hope it’s doing all sorts of sneaky stuff.
Murdoc’s mentioned the X2 (S-97 Raider) concept chopper before. Defense Tech has a couple of photos and a video of the thing from the AUSA conference.
Looks cool to Murdoc.
Lightweight Small Arms Technology over at SoldierGeek:
The LSAT program has been run out of the Armaments Reserach, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal for several years. It’s original goal was to produce a lightweight machine gun aimed at the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon role, by redesigning both weapon and ammunition from the ground up. The program was later restructured to look at lightweight small arms technology applications in multiple roles, to include carbines, using the lightweight LMG as the technology demonstrator.
Go check it out. SoldierGeek was involved in some early work on the project and has some good personal thoughts. And if you don’t have him bookmarked or in your RSS feed, fix that problem right now.
Here’s an overview of the LSAT:
On SoldierGeek: Army buys 18,000 new M320 Grenade Launchers
The Army announced today that it has awarded a $38.5M contract to German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch for the production of 18,000 40mm M320A1 Grenade Launchers. The M320 is the replacement for the venerable M203 grenade launcher, first fielded as an experimental system during the Vietnam War, and novel because it was the only technology spun out of the Special Purpose Individual Weapon (SPIW) flechette-grenade launcher program to go into production.
Here’s a shot of it mounted on a carbine:
And also see HK USA’s site on the XM320.
Murdoc’s guess is that the fact that the similarity between the designation M320 and the M203 is going to lead to all sorts of typos.
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.
Last week, MO pointed out a Military.com story about how the Army wants more XM25 grenade guns and that they’ve nick-named it the ‘Punisher.’
Kit Up! learned, however, that while the XM-25 is impressive, the weapon had been fired a few more than 50 times in less than 10 engagements and had chalked up only two suspected kills.
Though not a bad start, it’s certainly not a sample size large enough to guarantee success.
The XM-25 has fired 55 rounds in nine firefights between Dec. 3 and January 12, when the formal Forward Operational Assessment ended. Officials say the weapon “disrupted” two insurgent attacks against an observation post, destroying one PKM machine gun position in one of those attacks. That is where the ”usually our engagements last for 15-20 minutes. With the XM-25 they’re over in a few minutes” line came from.
The XM-25 also “destroyed” four ambush sites during engagements on foot patrols or movements to contact. In one instance, the 25mm HE round exploded on a PKM gunner and he was either wounded and fled or scared and fled, but dropped his machine gun, which Soldiers later recovered.
Though the details aren’t given, it sounds as if it could have been a “direct hit” and yet the target was able to flee. That certainly won’t do anything to convince those who wonder if the 25mm rounds are powerful enough. It could be a case where the explosions simply surprised and frightened the target into running off. If the lethality of the XM25 isn’t there, it won’t take long for the enemy to learn that its bark is a lot worse than its bite.
Of course, maybe it wasn’t anything like a “direct hit” and these concerns are not valid.
Story on Military.com today: ‘Punisher’ Gives Enemy No Place to Hide
By all accounts, the futuristic XM-25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System has been quite a rude surprise for the bad guys.
“I don’t know what we’re eventually going to call this product, but it seems to be game changing,” said the commander of the Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier, Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, during a Feb. 2 briefing with reporters at the Pentagon. “You no longer can shoot at American forces and hide behind something. We’re going to reach out and touch you.”
After years of XM-25 development, last fall the 101st Airborne submitted an urgent request to field the weapon for troops on patrol in Afghanistan. In response the Army took the five weapons it had been testing at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., added 1,000 hand-made explosive rounds and shipped them to the war zone in October of 2010.
The claim is that the five prototypes have had no maintenance issues but that one outstanding issue is the rechargeable battery power supply.
The ammo is currently running $1,000 per round (yes, you read that right) but claims are that it could drop to $35 per round if/when mass production starts. The Army wants to buy 36 more XM35s, but it’s uncertain whether they’ll get them and it will take up to a year to get them into the field.
If the thing really works as well as they’re claiming, they’d better find a way to speed that up.