Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR JUNE 2017 Contents INNOVATIONS
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 32 | JUNE 2017
XM25 weapon future in doubt
NZ biotech signs up for skin replacement project
After almost 20 years of development and the long-
touted promise of a step-change in infantry firepower, the
US Army may not proceed with acquisition of the XM25
Counter Defilade Target Engagement weapon system due to
Media outlets have variously reported that Orbital ATK
earlier this year failed to deliver to the Army 20 XM25
weapons as specified in the existing contract. Orbital ATK
has since suggested that the delay was due to its XM25
development partner, Heckler & Koch, itself not delivering
product as required.
First spawned in the late 1990s, the XM25 is a direct-fire,
semi-automatic, shoulder-fired, airburst munition capable
weapon originally known as the Objective Individual Combat
Weapon. It is also known unofficially as the Punisher.
The XM25 fires a low-velocity 25mm grenade out to 500m
against point targets and 700m for area targets. It is aimed
particularly at engaging targets behind cover and in defilade.
A report by the US Department of Defense Inspector
General cited that the Army’s Project Manager Individual
Weapons (PM IW) conducted forward operational
assessments of XM25 advanced prototypes in Afghanistan
in 2011, 2012, and 2013, during which the system suffered
three malfunctions, resulting in minor operator injuries.
The weapon malfunctions occurred because, the report
found, PM IW officials failed to provide adequate training to
soldiers prior to releasing the XM25 for use during the three
forward operational assessments.
Other criticism of the XM25 relate to its weight of 6.35kg
A New Zealand start-up in the regenerative medicine field
has signed a Co-operative Research and Development
Agreement (CRADA) with the US Army.
Auckland-based Upside Biotechnologies said on 23 May
that its CRADA with the US Army Medical Research and
Materiel Command (USAMRMC) establishes the framework
for collaboration on developing fully the company’s new
engineered skin replacement treatment technology for
patients suffering major burns.
The technology enables a small sample of unburnt patient
skin to be grown in the laboratory into large areas of full
thickness skin. This lab-grown skin can be used as skin
grafts in patients with major burns who do not have enough
uninjured skin to provide conventional skin grafts. Upside
skin is produced faster than any competitive product in
development, according to the company. It is supplied in
larger sheets with handling characteristics preferred by
Specifically, the USAMRMC agreement will focus on
working through the scientific and regulatory aspects of the
“The USAMRMC is pleased to provide guidance to
Upside Biotechnologies as it navigates the US FDA [Food
and Drug Administration] approval process for a novel skin
unloaded and its low magazine capacity of just five 25mm
rounds. The size of the weapon and the limited total
ammunition load of 36 rounds which the gunner carries were
thought by the US 75th Ranger Regiment to be insufficient
justification to remove a M4A1 5.56mm assault rifle from a
Beset as it is by continued schedule delays, cost
increases and performance issues, the XM25 seems to
be at a tipping point on whether it will move beyond the
advanced prototype stage and into production for the US
military or be cancelled outright.
– Matthew Mendenhall
©2017 Raytheon Company. All rights reserved.
Drawing on an unmatched local naval combat systems
integration capability and a proven record of success on
the Air Warfare Destroyer program, Raytheon Australia
is focused on the nation’s surface ship requirements
now and in the future.
ABOVE: The XM25 during one of three US Army operational
assessments in Afghanistan. Image: US Army
BELOW: A US Army wheeled vehicle burns after an improved
explosive device strike during the early years of the Iraq
campaign. Image: US Army
replacement product,” says Susan Taylor, product manager
for the Tissue Injury and Regenerative Medicine Project
Management Office at the US Army Medical Materiel
Development Activity, USAMRMC.
“This product may provide a critical solution in the
treatment of service members who have sustained severe
burns. Our goal is to help Upside move this product as
quickly and as safely as possible through the regulatory
process, so it is available to our wounded service members.”
– Staff Reporters
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