ATK [ATK] yesterday said it received a $16.8 million engineering and manufacturing development contract modification from the Army’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier for its XM25, Individual Semi-Automatic Airburst System.

The XM25 is a rifle that the Army has been known to call a “game changer,” It fires a 25mm airbursting round programmed by the weapon’s integrated target acquisition and fire control system to burst directly above a designated target. The system allows soldiers to quickly and accurately engage targets by producing an adjusted aimpoint based on range, environmental factors, and user inputs.

The contract funds the continuing design, integration, production and testing of fully functional systems to ensure the weapon’s final design meets performance requirements and is production-ready before fielding.

In March, ATK received $65.8 million engineering and manufacturing development contract from PEO Soldier (Defense Daily, March 30, 2011).

The Army conducted Forward Operational Assessments (FOA) with early XM25 prototype weapons deployed in Afghanistan from November 2010 through May 2012 with soldiers actively using them on patrols in areas experiencing high levels of enemy activity. 

Soldier feedback validated that the XM25 provides a unique combat advantage. The FOA also provided information that will inform decisions regarding tactics, training, basis of issue, and system improvements before the weapon’s fielding.

ATK will be supporting another Army XM25 FOA scheduled for 2013 with a 36-gun battalion set of new pre-production prototypes.

“The XM25 has been battle-proven by our soldiers during U.S. Army operational assessments conducted in Afghanistan.  We are very pleased with this system’s performance and the overmatch capability it delivers to our warfighters,” said Bruce DeWitt, vice president and general manager of ATK’s Armament Systems Division. “We are focused on quickly making this weapon ready for production.”

ATK is the prime contractor, systems integrator and ammunition provider for the XM25 program. Program management is headquartered at ATK’s Armament Systems Division in Plymouth, Minn. Program partners include Heckler & Koch, and L-3 Communications’ [LLL] Integrated Optical Systems.