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Army’s XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement Systems (CDTE)

U.S. Army representatives are planning the fielding and combat assessment of a small number of its XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement Systems (CDTE).

Designed to defeat both exposed and defilade targets, the CDTE is a shoulder-fired semi-automatic weapon that engages targets with a 25mm airbursting round.

The magazine-fed XM25 is 29.5 inches in length and weighs approximately 12.5 pounds.

Critical to the system’s capability is an integrated target acquisition / fire control that helps the warfighter detect targets, then determines range and calculates the optimal ballistic solution for target engagement. A wiring harness in the weapon then programs the ammunition to airburst at the predetermined range.

The weapon system can engage point targets at ranges out to 500 meters and area targets at ranges of 700 meters.

Prime contractor and ammunition lead Alliant Techsystems has led the XM25 development team, which has included Heckler & Koch Defense, Gmbh (Airburst Weapon), and Brashear (Target Acquisition/Fire Control).

Plans to field a small number of the systems into theater were outlined at the May 2009 National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Small Arms Systems symposium and firing demonstration, in Las Vegas, Nev. The event also allowed attendees to observe a limited test firing and examine various aspects of the weapon design.

In his conference keynote address, Brig. Gen. Peter N. Fuller, program executive officer for Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, highlighted the XM25 as one of the emerging capabilities being developed for U.S. soldiers.

“It’s going to be issued this summer to a unit for an assessment ‘downrange’ in theater,” he said. “That’s a new capability that we have.”

When asked for clarification on the theater assessment, Col. Douglas Tamilio, U.S. Army Program Manager, Soldier Weapons, explained, “It’s not an ‘operational test.’ It’s a ‘limited user assessment.’ It’s not a ‘LUT’ [Limited User Test]. A lot of times we will take weapons when they are in the engineering development stage and give them out to users – when they are mature enough – just to see if there are any fixes we can make or anything they like or dislike about the system. And that’s what this is – a limited user assessment.”

Pointing to operational security considerations, he added, “I can’t tell you the number. I can just tell you that they are going into theater later on this summer.”

A family of 25mm low velocity ammunition is also being developed for the XM25. Current developments are focused on both high explosive and training rounds. Future developments will expand the ammunition family to include anti-personnel, less than lethal (blunt), less than lethal (airburst), door breaching, and armor piercing options.

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...