Army officials approved Friday the fielding of about 40 of the Star Ship Troopers-esque XM-25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement Weapon System for a line infantry battalion in the 101st Airborne division serving in Afghanistan.
According to PEO Soldier Brig. Gen. Pete Fuller, the 101st (he wouldn’t say specifically which battalion) issued an Urgent Needs Statement asking for the airburst weapon to smoke out Talibs in their canals, bunkers and qalats. The Army approved the UNS Oct. 8 and earmarked $10 million to build 36 brand new weapons. The Army has five on hand and will ship them to the 101st battalion Nov. 1.
You may remember PEO had originally tabbed a Special Forces unit for the fearsome weapon’s first deployment this past summer. But scheduling problems precluded that test. Officials say they’re still psyched to have general purpose forces giving the XM-25 its first go since that’ll help them better refine the weapon and how it will be used in infantry squads.