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02/24/2016

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Krag

I thought this program was dead after a feed issue caused one to blow up in the soldier's hands, in the field.

Krag

Here is the story I was remembering:

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/03/07/army-yanks-xm25-punisher-from-warzone.html

Rangers didn't seem too thrilled with it either. Wonder what changed?

rocketguy

Definitely going into production - I can see the building from my desk. Price will come down but it will always be quite the pricey "bullet". It's a lot of tech packed in a very small package hence the...issues. I'm not privy to many details but it sounds like a winner.

Kirk

"“This has the potential to be a huge game changer for infantry combat. Once it gets into the hands of more troops, they can start experimenting and adapting tactics,” military futurist Paul Scharre believes."

Bullshit. Utter, complete fucking bullshit.

This is a boondoggle, pure and simple, and the fact is clear in the very configuration of the weapon. The XM-25 is intended to be fired from the shoulder, off-hand, and without external stabilization or support, semi-automatically. Care to tell me how the hell that's going to work, at the max ranges they're blowing smoke up our collective asses over? And, with that teeny-tiny 25mm grenade warhead? Suuuuuure... Joe Infantryman is gonna be able to put that thing riiiiiight overhead a firing position out to 800m, where they really need something like this, firing off his shoulder, and then that grenade is just going to kill everything within 5 meters or so, right?

Bullshit. The performance envelope on this weapon would make sense if it were fired off a supported mount, like a tripod, and if it were fully automatic, in order to get enough of those tiny little grenades in the right spot. Manifestly, it isn't.

And, those vaunted "tests" in Afghanistan? More bullshit. To my knowledge, not one fucking enemy casualty was ever actually documented to be attributable to the XM-25. All they could really say was "We took fire; we returned fire with the XM-25; they quit shooting at us...". I think you can see the basic fucking problem with that whole thing, which is that they still don't have a single goddamn thing showing that this weapon is actually, y'know, effective at range for the purpose they claim it's designed for.

It's yet another goddamn case where the asshole incompetents in the small arms procurement realm here in the US have screwed the pooch. They've been trying to get this thing into production since it was SPIWS, back in the 1960s, and they have finally managed it. Want to know what this program really does? Take a look at the number of jobs created for former program managers at companies like ATK, and the reality of this whole thing will become clear.

Game-changer? Yeah, in that we've now saddled the infantry squad with yet another system that doesn't work, and is too damn heavy. Meanwhile, the HEDP 40mm that everyone and his dog has been asking for improvements on...? Not a fucking thing has been done, even though that problem has been identified on every post-deployment survey and study since 2001.

Don't believe the hype machine. The XM-25 is probably going to go into production, probably going to be fielded, and then suffer the fate of every other useless weapon system we've ever issued--It'll wind up languishing in the arms room until someone finally puts a bullet in the program's head, and calls it good. Before that happens, though? A bunch of money is going to get wasted, and a bunch of incompetents are going to get sinecures in private industry. They really should be getting summary executions for this bullshit--These are the same stupid fuckers who set us up for failure with the 7.62mm machine gun, knowing that the M60 was at the end of its service life, and doing nothing to replace it with something better. Instead, a bunch of Rangers and Marines did an end run around the system, and we got the M240B, which proved to be too heavy to use in the ground role in the mountains. Something that would have been readily apparent had our incompetent small arms community either bothered to read the literature, ask foreign users of the weapon, or (wow, here's a revolutionary idea...) run real fucking fielding tests and development...

The whole realm of small arms procurement here in the US is just so fucking full of incompetence that it's not even funny--Anyone care to tell me why the fuck the M16/M4 TDP hasn't been undergoing rolling updates, to include such revolutionary ideas as cold hammer-forged barrels, and modern coatings? Oh, no... We're still using button-broached barrels with shorter lives, and the coatings are still 1950s-era phosphate and anodizing.

I think we'd do better if our procurement and development were farmed out to a bunch of third-graders. They, at least, might be able to learn from their fucking mistakes. Instead, we're repeating the same set of mistakes, over and over and over and over again...

timactual

Is this thing really a significant improvement over the M203 40 mm. grenade? Just how effective is a 25 mm. projectile? With a "bleak Army budget" can we afford whatever net increase in lethality this new weapon provides? At $35,000per weapon and $55 per round?

I am skeptical.

Kirk

Show me the casualties this thing "inflicted" in Afghanistan, and I'll grant an iota of credibility to the hype machine.

The fact that they can't? Don't believe a word of what they're telling you about the efficacy of this weapon. If they could show you the bodies of all the Afghan insurgents that were engaged and eliminated, they would. The fact that they haven't done so, or for that matter, even went out looking to see what the actual downrange BDA was when they ran the "field tests" tells you all you need to know. From what I've heard through the grapevine, the people testing these things didn't even have RPV assets up when most of the actions took place. The overwhelming number of the actual AAR sessions sounded like Gabriel Garcia Marquez was running them, and looking for more magical thinking story lines. Literally--"They shot at us. We shot back with the XM-25. They stopped shooting at us...".

Nobody ever bothered to determine *why* the enemy stopped shooting. Was he bored? Dead? Spooked off by a new and unusual weapon they hadn't seen before? Out of ammo? Completed their mission? Who the hell knows? We never got BDA that connected the XM-25 with real casualties on the other side, and frankly, given that teeeeeeeeny-tiny warhead on the grenade, I seriously doubt they caused anything other than a heightened degree of stress and annoyance.

But, by all means, let's take away weapons that work, and saddle the Infantry with this immortal POS that's been in development since the 1960s. It's about time the developers in the government and civilian contractors firms started to see some payoff for all their time spent working and (mostly) politicking for this BS piece of crap.

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