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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.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Trump: $6.1 billion in DoD money going to border wall wasn’t for anything that seemed ‘too important to me’
President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."
D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.
"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."