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The Army's 'Punisher' Airburst Weapon Is Officially Dead
After years of delays and cost increases, the Army has officially pulled the plug on the XM25 Counter-Defilade Target Engagement System, the 25mm shoulder-fired airburst weapon lovingly nicknamed 'The Punisher,' Stars and Stripes reports.
Originally touted as a “leap-ahead” enhancement to soldiers' arsenals in Afghanistan, the XM25 semi-automatic weapon that uses a target acquisition and fire control system to identify targets, determine range, and program specially-designed, high-explosive ammunition to explode in proximity to enemies nearly 2000 feet away
A Soldier aims an XM25 weapon system at Aberdeen Test Center, Md. It features an array of sights, sensors and lasers housed in a Target Acquisition Fire Control unit on top, an oversized magazine behind the trigger mechanism, and a short, ominous barrel wrapped by a recoil dampening sleeve.U.S. Army/PEO Soldier
The program has been in limbo since May 2017, when the Army's senior leadership canceled its contract with Orbital ATK after the defense firm "failed to deliver the 20 weapons as specified by the terms of the contract,” as service spokesman told Military.com at the time.
The termination of the contract came after Orbital ATK sued Hechler & Koch for more than $27 million the previous February over a breach of contract involving the weapons system, passing the blame for the missing prototypes on the German gunmaker and putting the XM25 contract — and, in turn, the program — in jeopardy
The Punisher was doomed well before that. The Department of Defense's Office of the Inspector General released a report in September 2016 urging the Army to cancel the program due to "two years of delays, increased program costs, and an unjustified fielding plan," per Military.com. Indeed, the OIG report for the system frequently malfunctioned during operational testing:
Part of the problem started Feb. 2, 2013, when the XM25 malfunctioned during its second round of operational testing in Afghanistan, inflicting minor injuries to a soldier, the audit maintains.
The Army halted the operational testing when the XM25 experienced a double feed and an unintentional primer ignition of one of the 25mm high explosive rounds, Army officials said at the time.
The warhead did not detonate because of safety mechanisms on the weapon.
The service removed all prototypes from theater to determine the problem’s cause.
The XM25 had completed one 14-month battlefield assessment and was in the early stages of a second assessment when the double feed and primer ignition occurred during a live-fire training exercise.
Orbital and H&K; aren't totally to blame: as with all other future weapons systems, Army officials “could have managed the schedule, affordability, and quantity requirements of the XM25 program more effectively," according to the DoD OIG audit.
RIP 'The Punisher.' We're sure you'll find a second life in the reboot of Demolition Man.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."