The new XM25.


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lbmii
May 22, 2005, 12:06 PM
http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_XM25,,00.html

http://images.military.com/pics/SoldierTech_XM25-1.jpg

http://images.military.com/pics/SoldierTech_XM25-2.jpg

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jobu07
May 22, 2005, 12:12 PM
Is this another HK?

Rebar
May 22, 2005, 12:31 PM
What ever happened to old-fashioned rifle grenades?
http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=555

Easy to use, easy to practice with, cheap, effective, or am I missing something?

Preacherman
May 22, 2005, 12:34 PM
Looks interesting, but I have worries about the limited range (optimum 300 meters, max. 500 meters). This is fine for urban use, but I'd like to see something going out to 800 or 1,000 meters for rural use. On the other hand, I suppose that doing this would require more propellant (and therefore more recoil) than would be easily handled by the average soldier, so perhaps the longer ranges should be left to ATGW's and/or mortars.

As for rifle grenades, the problem has always been to get acceptable accuracy with their rainbow-like trajectory. In combat, I reckon I saw at least four or five miss for every one that hit.

kwelz
May 22, 2005, 01:01 PM
Study after study have shown that there is no combat need for a rifle beyond 300 Meters. This is one of the main reasons they went to the .223 round in the M16. Most soldiers don't need to shoot out to 600+ meters. What they do need is the ability to carry more ammo, which the smaller round allows.

boofus
May 22, 2005, 01:18 PM
This is the grenade launcher portion of the OICW. It was separated from the rifle portion and made a standalone weapon because together they weighed 18lb unloaded.

The launcher turned into the XM25 and the rifle became the XM8. It says all that in the linked article too. :p

Jeff Timm
May 22, 2005, 02:14 PM
Rebar enquired, "What ever happened to old-fashioned rifle grenades?

Easy to use, easy to practice with, cheap, effective, or am I missing something?"

The rifle launched grenade is not very accurate by modern standards, plus in the "Heat of Battle" it requires a complex manual of arms to:

1. Unload your weapon
2. Mount the grenade
3. Turn off the gas system
4. Load from small magazine blank launch cartridge.
5. Aim
6. Fire
7. Pray you hit the target.
8. Remove blank magazine
9. Restore gas valve to proper setting
10. Insert magazine
11. Lock and load.

The M203 under the barrel of an M-16 required little training to put rounds through a small window at 200 meters. I was a grenadier in a maintenance company (the Small Arms Section ended up with crew served and special weapons on a regular basis.)

Geoff
Who fired yellow smoke rounds twice a year. :D

CB900F
May 22, 2005, 02:33 PM
Fella's;

I see that if the system gets approved & adopted, that the sevices saddled with it immediately lose the ability to arm approximately 12 - 14% of their troops with it.

Or, if that hatch above the magazine is indeed there to provide an ejection port for spent brass, then the figure climbs to 86 - 88%.

:neener: 900F

Telperion
May 22, 2005, 03:10 PM
I see the Army is still really into this airburst idea. I'm curious about how robust the targetting system (which is going to be critical to realizing the benefits of airbursts) really is under combat conditions.

Also, does anyone know how the range-to-target information is transmitted to projectile?

Missourigunner
May 22, 2005, 03:21 PM
Looks like something out of Buck Rogers or Star Wars to me. :D

Vern Humphrey
May 22, 2005, 03:47 PM
The Army should remember the old adage, "No weapons system is so good that it can't be ruined by adding one more good idea." :o

lysander
May 22, 2005, 05:29 PM
What's wrong with 40 mike-mike? :uhoh: I'm all for technology advancing...but the OICW and this XM25 weapons system seem almost "video game" inspired.

Telperion - IIRC the target's range data is found via laser, then the shell is "progammed" by the operator with that data and fired. That is one of the knocks on the OICW/XM25's effectiveness. Moving targets had to be "re-lased" (is that even a word :eek: ) more often than not.

Rebar
May 22, 2005, 05:36 PM
The rifle launched grenade is not very accurate by modern standards, plus in the "Heat of Battle" it requires a complex manual of arms
The modern "bullet trap" design means that you don't have to do anything other than mount the grenade to the barrel and fire.

As far as accuracy, the modern design is somewhat more accurate. More importantly, a soldier can get a lot more practice with them, using inert dummy grenades. With enough practice, I bet most would get quite good with them.

lbmii
May 22, 2005, 05:58 PM
I wonder how the information is relayed to the round to be fired. Will this work if the chamber starts to get dirty? Does one magazine load cost more than the guy firing it makes in a year?

Vern Humphrey
May 22, 2005, 06:17 PM
Does one magazine load cost more than the guy firing it makes in a year?

That reminds me of an old saying in the Army, "Civil Servants are like missiles. They don't work and you can't fire them."

I remember in the 2nd Infantry Division, one brigade hoarded their annual allotment Dragon medium anti-tank missiles, and scheduled a big shootoff -- they had about 30 missiles they were allowed to fire.

The Brigade Commander, Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver, the Division Commander and a general from 8th Army came to watch. You can imagine what happened -- the first gunner was so nervous with all that brass looking over his shoulder that he put the missile into the ground about 20 meters in front of the firing line. The brass had a fit.

The next gunner was even MORE nervous -- same result. The two miscreants were turned over to the Command Sergeant Major -- "We'll deal with YOU later."

Succeeding gunners, seeing what happened to the ones before them were more and more nervous -- the last guy was a basket case long before his chance came.

Not a single hit. :what:

NMshooter
May 22, 2005, 06:28 PM
I guess some folks are going to try selling parts of that program until they get lucky...

Doesn't the Dragon have the distinction of never having been fired in combat?

Vern Humphrey
May 22, 2005, 06:38 PM
I guess some folks are going to try selling parts of that program until they get lucky...

You're right -- the hard sell is in, because the people involved in the program need a "success" for career reasons. This is how we got the Sheridan, among other "winners."


Doesn't the Dragon have the distinction of never having been fired in combat?

I don't have references, but I believe it was TRIED and failed in Grenada when the two BTR-60 PBs attacked the drop zone. I don't recall if the weapons have been broken in the jump, or simply failed when fired. One of those vehicles, as I recall, was taken out by a 90mm RR, the other by Naval aircraft.

So I guess you could say it has never been fired SUCCESSFULLY in combat.

MechAg94
May 22, 2005, 07:00 PM
As I recall from the previous 20 mm grenade program, the air burst system counts the number of rotations of the round after it leave the barrel to judge distance or when to explode. I guess the computer gets the range to target and calculates the rotations across that distance. I am curious how that system would hold up after a number of rounds.

Justin
May 22, 2005, 11:31 PM
Just the ticket for hunting Xenomorphs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenomorph).

Jeff White
May 23, 2005, 02:52 AM
Vern,
As far as I know the Ranger Regiment (Bns in '83) never adopted the Dragon. They hung on to the 90mm recoiless rifle.

I got in trouble after I asked a McDonnell Douglas tech rep (they made the POS Dragon) if they had a tech rep to deploy with each squad if we ever had to take the Dragon to war. Its probably a good thing we never had to use it in combat.

Jeff

Vern Humphrey
May 23, 2005, 09:23 AM
As far as I know the Ranger Regiment (Bns in '83) never adopted the Dragon. They hung on to the 90mm recoiless rifle.


I seem to recall there was a dragon or two on that dropzone -- but I'd have to look it up.

You're right, it was a POS. And I knew the program manager, Burton Patrick, later ADC-M of the 2nd Infantry Division and CG of the 101st Airborne Division -- I wouldn't have thought he'd have allowed such a thing.

Langenator
May 23, 2005, 09:51 AM
I never saw Dragons live-fired, although they were part of our 'war load' when I was in 1AD in the late 90s.

Our company master gunner had. He said the one time they fired the Dragons, none of them actually functioned. Main rocket motors were dead. First missile, the launch charge kicked it out of the tube, and it skids to a halt about 100m downrange. EOD is summoned, takes about 2 hours to get there, blows up the missile.

Second round, same thing. Another 2-3 hours gone by. EOD actually decided to stay at the range for the third missile. When #3 did the same thing again, the range was called off.

When we got TOW missiles to fire, by my recollection, about 1 in 8 didn't work.

In contrast, on the limited Javelin live fires I've seen, they all work. And those things are damn awesome. But not as verstile as the Karl Gustav 84mm recoiless.

Azrael256
May 23, 2005, 10:25 AM
Dragons were deployed to the sandbox in 1990 for Desert Storm. *Supposedly* they were fired in combat. Looking around, I was unable to find any evidence that they actually destroyed anything. All the information I found indicated that it was only to be used as a last-ditch, out of ammo, knife blade has snapped, only have one working finger left sort of weapon. I guess it would hurt pretty bad if the launch charge blew it into your gut. I rather strongly suspect that "fired in combat" means that somebody got bored, and decided to launch one into a knocked-out T-72 just to see if it would go off. I'll bet it didn't.

I also found something that said the Iraqis had them. Evidently we delivered the weapons to Iran, and the Iraqis captured them. Maybe supplying Saddam with a useless weapon was the plan all along.

Vern Humphrey
May 23, 2005, 02:41 PM
Our company master gunner had. He said the one time they fired the Dragons, none of them actually functioned. Main rocket motors were dead. First missile, the launch charge kicked it out of the tube, and it skids to a halt about 100m downrange. EOD is summoned, takes about 2 hours to get there, blows up the missile.


It's not only malfunctions -- the weight of the dragon is on the gunner's shoulder. When the missile exits the lanucher, the weight is suddenly gone, the gunner's shoulder rises, the tracker points down, and the missile goes into the ground if the gunner isn't experienced enough to anticipate this.

In contrast, on the limited Javelin live fires I've seen, they all work. And those things are damn awesome. But not as verstile as the Karl Gustav 84mm recoiless.

Depends on what you mean by versatile -- when I was training the Singapore Army, they used the Karl Gustav. It's a nice recoilless rifle, has a good antipersonnel round, and also airburst capability. But it can't kill modern tanks -- not without a lot of luck.

Javelin, on the other hand is a stone tank killer.

GunnySkox
May 23, 2005, 03:09 PM
Hehahahahaaa...

I saw a video once linked on this Middle East defense forum (from what little I read of it, the people actually seemed to be from the Middle East) of a Javelin missile thumping a T-72. They were horrified, a bunch of guys kept claiming that there was no way that a missile could be that powerful, that the tank had to be packed full of explosives to make an explosion that violent. I've seen a powerpoint presentation detailing the aftermath of a javelin drilling a T-72. IIRC, the turret was something like 20 or 30 meters away from the hull, and they found some random piece a couple hundred meters away.

So yeah, a Jevelin will pretty much put your @#$% in the dirt.

~Slam_Fire

Vern Humphrey
May 23, 2005, 03:24 PM
They were horrified, a bunch of guys kept claiming that there was no way that a missile could be that powerful, that the tank had to be packed full of explosives to make an explosion that violent. I've seen a powerpoint presentation detailing the aftermath of a javelin drilling a T-72. IIRC, the turret was something like 20 or 30 meters away from the hull, and they found some random piece a couple hundred meters away.


Tanks pretty much ARE packed full of explosives. A fully-loaded T-72 has 40 rounds, in which the propellant charges make a dandy fire and create huge overpressures if confined. And there might be an HE round or two in there, to boot.

The Javelin with its top attack mode gets tanks where it hurts.

Joejojoba111
May 23, 2005, 04:34 PM
I'd be horrified if people still believed that video too. It's been concretely debunked as a fraud, in fact the tank exploded before the missile even hits, and as you mentioned the *unconventional results to the turret. BTW HESH was most effective for blowing turrets off, but they never did anything like that, that turret was Buried Very forcefully in the ground.



":Hehahahahaaa...

I saw a video once linked on this Middle East defense forum (from what little I read of it, the people actually seemed to be from the Middle East) of a Javelin missile thumping a T-72. They were horrified, a bunch of guys kept claiming that there was no way that a missile could be that powerful, that the tank had to be packed full of explosives to make an explosion that violent. I've seen a powerpoint presentation detailing the aftermath of a javelin drilling a T-72. IIRC, the turret was something like 20 or 30 meters away from the hull, and they found some random piece a couple hundred meters away.

So yeah, a Jevelin will pretty much put your @#$% in the dirt.

~Slam_Fire"

Langenator
May 23, 2005, 05:00 PM
the Gustav might not kill modern MBTs, but they'll do a number on APCs and other light armor.

The Rangers (and maybe SF) are the only US troops who use the Gustav. the primary mission they use it for is 'ballistic breach,' i.e. blowing holes in walls so they can get into buildings. It does a great job at that.

Vern Humphrey
May 23, 2005, 05:25 PM
the Gustav might not kill modern MBTs, but they'll do a number on APCs and other light armor.

If the battlefield were segregated, so you'd only encounter light armor and no tanks in your sector, that would be a great advantage.

The Rangers (and maybe SF) are the only US troops who use the Gustav. the primary mission they use it for is 'ballistic breach,' i.e. blowing holes in walls so they can get into buildings. It does a great job at that.


There are currently a lot of other weapons which can do the same job, and do it better with less weight.

Joejojoba111
May 23, 2005, 06:57 PM
But can they do other jobs, and have a diverse array of munitions, as well as being re-useable?

Falluja vids show TOWs being used as bunker busters, :) perhaps a step backwards would be more cost effective in that instance.

Vern Humphrey
May 23, 2005, 07:06 PM
But can they do other jobs, and have a diverse array of munitions, as well as being re-useable?

Being reusable isn't all that great a virtue -- there is nothing heavier than a weapon that's out of ammunition.

Falluja vids show TOWs being used as bunker busters, perhaps a step backwards would be more cost effective in that instance.

On the other hand, we have plenty of TOws, and we do need to rotate stocks so as to have fresh ammo. No sense in sitting on rounds that are about to expire.

Joejojoba111
May 23, 2005, 10:11 PM
Good point, never even considered that.

Langenator
May 24, 2005, 09:28 AM
Those may be the new bunker buster TOWs...new design, with a warhead optimized for the job.

The standard TOWs did a sub-optimal job at blasting fortifications, especially the -IIB model, which was designed to fly over the traget tank and explode downward.

PvtPyle
May 24, 2005, 06:46 PM
Study after study have shown that there is no combat need for a rifle beyond 300 Meters. This is one of the main reasons they went to the .223 round in the M16. Most soldiers don't need to shoot out to 600+ meters. What they do need is the ability to carry more ammo, which the smaller round allows.

Who ever is doing these studies has not been to Afghanistan or Iraq. Urban counter sniper missions where they are dropping targets out past 500m on a regular basis in Iraq.

Ridge line to ridge line fighting where the M16 cant even inagine hitting targets at those ranges. If they would bother to go to A-stan they would see a significant amount of Soldiers and Marines carrying M14's. More would be carrying them if they could get them.

That study may have been true for jungle fighting a few decades ago, but I can tell you it is grossly incorrect for todays desert and mountain battlefields.
As for the H&K, you can keep it. 40mm is where it is at. I guess since the XM8 has proven to be a lemon in the hands of the testers at Benning they had to do something to try and get into the game.


As for airburst rounds that they are doing final developement on for the MK-47, they are programed thru the optical sight attached to the weapon. It lases the target, figures trajectory and when the round is fired it is programmed into the round as it passes three small pins inside the barrel. The pins will be user replaceable after 3,000rds and the barrel can only be used with those rounds. But it takes a few seconds to change barrels so it is not a big deal for the shooter to configure the weapon for the mission.


And with the new thermobaric rounds (much more deadly in buildings than a bunch of shrapnel from an HE round, you can hid behind heavy wood from shrapnel...) as well as other new munitions, the M203 has joined the new generations of weapons systems. Better barrel systems and new ammo has brought this weapon up to speed.

The M3 Carl Gustav now has nearly a dozen rounds available for it in the Army system. The Ranger Batts have them and they are being fielded to SF units. They do have anti tank rounds that will defeat most tanks on the battle field (remember that the PG-7VM round has defeated a good number of tanks in Iraq, so it doesn't take that much with good shot placement).
With most walls being made from sun baked bricks, or factory made bricks that can be as thick as 24 inches, anything shorts of a MBT is not going to cut it. The LAW, AT-4 and Gustav were ineffective or moderately effective in A-stan. But most doors are made of thin sheet steel over a poorly welded steel frame and they come off really easy with either a small breeching charge or by being hooked up to your Toyota and pulled off the hinges.


Being reusable isn't all that great a virtue -- there is nothing heavier than a weapon that's out of ammunition.

Most of us think it is a great virtue in this case. Flexability of use, a wide variety of ammo and since it is a mission specific weapon and not a soldiers primary weapon, weight is not a great issue most of the time. We dont usually hump into out objectives anymore. Helos and ground vehicles get us on target much quicker than humping in, keep soldiers in a higher state of readiness and help add the element of suprise. It also provides a place to resupply from, or to drop resupply to us when needed. Yeah carrying it sucks, but is worth the pain when you need it.

Vern Humphrey
May 24, 2005, 06:56 PM
Most of us think it is a great virtue in this case. Flexability of use, a wide variety of ammo and since it is a mission specific weapon and not a soldiers primary weapon, weight is not a great issue most of the time. We dont usually hump into out objectives anymore. Helos and ground vehicles get us on target much quicker than humping in, keep soldiers in a higher state of readiness and help add the element of suprise. It also provides a place to resupply from, or to drop resupply to us when needed. Yeah carrying it sucks, but is worth the pain when you need it.


Where is the flexibility in a weapon that is out of ammo, and requires a dedicated gunner and assistant gunner?

You can carry more disposable rounds for the same weight as the Gustav and ammo. You can distribute them through a unit (try assembling distributed Gustav rounds under fire.)

And you get the same flexibility of warhead selection -- there's no law that requires disposables to have only one type ammo!

PvtPyle
May 25, 2005, 12:09 AM
LOL! Whatever dude. If we didn't like it, we would not have pitched such a fit to get them as part of the MTOE for our units. To each his own.

Vern Humphrey
May 25, 2005, 12:12 PM
LOL! Whatever dude. If we didn't like it, we would not have pitched such a fit to get them as part of the MTOE for our units. To each his own.


Just like Army Aviation pitched a fit to get ,38 revolvers as part of the MTOE for their units during the Viet Nam war. :p

The 90mm RR and the Karl Gustav were better than the Dragon, because they worked. They're long past their glory days now. There's better equipment available.

PvtPyle
May 25, 2005, 01:07 PM
That may be true, but this is what is in the system, this is what we get, this is what we will get for several years to come. They still ill terrorists, I guess that is what is most important right now.

What other weapons would you recommend, why?

Vern Humphrey
May 25, 2005, 02:53 PM
That may be true, but this is what is in the system, this is what we get, this is what we will get for several years to come. They still ill terrorists, I guess that is what is most important right now.

What other weapons would you recommend, why?

Actually, we have very few Karl Gustavs in the system. On the other hand, we have plenty of AT-4s, Javelins, and specialized weapons for breaching, anti-armor and anti-personnel use.

Onmilo
May 25, 2005, 08:19 PM
The XM-25 is a considered replacement for the M203 as a standard for urban and individual squad level use.

The XM-25 makes a grenadier a stand alone specialty again instead of turning a rifleman into a grenade launcher when time permits.

Ammunition is being developed to allow this weapon to be utilized as a door breacher, direct fire unit, airburst capable, point fire using shotgun type ammunition, a signalling device, and several less than lethal ammunition options are being developed and considered for use including softballs, electromagnetic pulse rounds for disabling rader, radio comm, anything electronic actually.

Versatality is the key here.

For longer ranges, the crew served ATGS belt fed 40mm will continue to be used and new munitions are being developed to improve performance and adaptability of this weapon system also.

George Hill
May 26, 2005, 01:31 AM
Having been trained as a Dragon gunner, let me tell you... there is a lot of reason to be nervous about shooting them. Not only have a couple exploded at launch, but they have also scorched the gunners shooting them. Now, if they don't hurt you right off the bat, they have a nasty habit of telling the bad guys exactly where they need to shoot. If you are a gunner lucky enough to get a clean shot off, and not be harmed from it, the enemy has anywhere from 4 to 11 very long seconds to engage you with machinegun fire from the roof mounted guns or even the coax.... if they don't just blast you with a HEAT round.
They advised us to use ambushing moves and fire simultaniously at our targets from different directions and to pop smoke too... and ideally if at all possible, to shoot the enemy vehicles from behind.
Great weapon the Dragon.
:barf:

Correia
May 26, 2005, 02:32 AM
I remember seeing the initial stats that HK put out for the ballistics of the 20mm. I'm still waiting to see how this thing reaches those numbers with out having just brutal recoil.

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