Next-Generation Soldier Weapons
In addition to systems now in the field, PM Soldier Weapons is also developing the next generation of Army weapon systems.
The XM29 Integrated Airburst Weapon System (formerly, objective individual combat weapon) combines the lethality of 20 mm air-bursting munitions, 5.56 mm NATO ammunition and rugged full-solution fire control (a laser range-finder, laser pointer, illuminator, ballistic computer, video camera, direct-view optics, environmental sensors, electronic compass, target tracker, laser steering and thermal module). The XM29 will eliminate targets the M16 cannot: targets in defilade, in trenches, behind trees and on rooftops. Compared to the current M4 MWS, it increases the probability of incapacitation, doubles the standoff range to 1,000 meters and substantially increases soldier survivability.
The XM25 Airburst Weapon System is the air-bursting weapon subsystem of the XM29. It fires 25 mm high-explosive airbursting munitions.
The XM25 incorporates a target acquisition fire control that integrates thermalpowered direct-view optics, laser rangefinder, compass, fuze setter, ballistic processor and internal display. The weapon has a 300-meter point target range and 500-meter area target range and is capable of defeating defilade (hidden) targets. Spiral development of the XM29 will accelerate fielding of the XM25 subsystem in advance of the dual-barrel XM29 system.
The U.S. Army is also exploring a new 5.56 mm carbine design, designated as the XM8 Modular Assault Weapon System (formerly, lightweight assault rifle). The XM8 is based on the 5.56 mm kinetic-energy weapon component of the XM29. Offering levels of integration, modularity and scalability, the XM8 will provide improved tactical capabilities through the use of multiple barrel lengths and accessories. Barrels include a standard barrel, a compact barrel to increase portability for close quarters battle operations, a long barrel for a sharpshooter role and a heavy barrel for an automatic rifle role. …