The XM25 Counter-Defilade Target Engagement System, designed and manufactured by a partnership between Alliant Techsystems and venerable German handgun manufacturer Hechler and Koch GmbH, is an individually fired, semi-automatic, soldier-portable weapon system which enables small units and individual soldiers to engage protected targets with a 25 mm airburst gun, according to Military.com.
Received with enthusiasm by the infantry community at first, the 14-pound weapon has subsequently drawn criticism.
On February 2, 2013, the weapon malfunctioned during only its second test in Afghanistan, causing minor injuries to a soldier. Operational testing of the XM25 was stopped immediately and all samples were withdrawn for study.
"Army G-3/5/7 officials stated that the malfunction demonstrated that the XM25 weapon needed additional development and was not ready for an initial production decision. [Project Manager Individual Weapons (PMIW)] officials redesigned the weapon and ammunition to correct the cause of the malfunctions," according to the audit. PMIW officials later stated that the failures did not re-occur, following the modifications.
The second obstacle regarding the so-called leap-ahead weapon is attributed to audit issues. As stated in a follow-on report to a March 2014 audit, the service postponed the weapon's initial production decision several times and did not justify a basis of issue plan. Eventually, a decision on whether to continue or cancel the XM25 program must be made, according to the report, after reviewing results of upcoming government tests slated for fall 2016.