Major Chris Connoly just presented a report here at NDIA on the effectiveness of the XM-25 Individual Semi-Automatic Airburst System in combat in Afghanistan. Major Connoly was in charge of the first Forward Operational Assessment, or FOA, of the XM-25 in Afghanistan and was present for some of the first shots fired in anger by this weapons system. He presented some interesting results of the FOA, and I thought you all might enjoy some of the nuggets from his talk . . .
Over the course of the FOA, the XM-25 was first deployed in November of 2010. The Army used the weapon in nine engagements, firing 55 rounds at enemy targets. Each time soldiers deployed the weapon, the soldiers said the firefights were distinctly shorter than normal. They had nothing but praise for the weapon. One first lieutenant said that after he’d taken the system into the field, he never wanted to go beyond the wire without it again.
Training for the XM-25 could be accomplished effectively in as little as three minutes, despite the complex electronics. That said, U.S. Army gunners received full two-day training course before they went out on patrols to ensure proficiency. The training course consisted of a 1 1/2 hour course and 48 practice rounds, including day shooting, night shooting, and one full magazine from a standing offhand position.
Judging from Maj. Connoly’s talk, the Army will be going forward with deploying the XM-25 system. Albeit slowly (at least in civilian terms). The XM-25’s final design will be completed in the next nine months. The Army will then send 36 more units into the field.
The major noted that the standard deployment of the XM-25 will probably be one per squad or two-to-three per platoon, with each gunner carrying 36 rounds in nine magazines (one in the gun, 8 in pouches). At the moment the loadout for gunners is eight magazines, due to availability limitations.
I wonder if they’ll have one at the live fire later on…