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The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System (CDTE, nicknamed "The Punisher") is a high-tech rifle, designed by Minnesota's Alliant Techsystems for the United States Army. The XM25 is a semi-automatic, shoulder-fired weapon system that has a range of roughly 2,300 feet; 55-rounds, weighs 12-12.5 lbs. and is 29.5 inches in length. The weapon can reach a point target range of 500 meters and an area target range of 700 meters.[1] The XM25 can be programmed so that its 25-mm ammunition detonates either in front of or behind a target, meaning it can be fired just above a wall before it explodes and kills the enemy.

The XM25 CDTE is extremely effective because three components have been designed, optimized, and integrated to achieve unrivaled air-burst capability. Critical to the system is the ability of the Target Acquisition/Fire Control (TA/FC) to accurately detect, and determine range to targets under the full spectrum of operations conditions, as well as calculate an optimal ballistic solution to engage defilade or exposed targets. The TA/FC programs the ammunition via a wiring harness in the weapon and air-bursts at the predetermined range. The shoulder-fired weapon can deliver a 25mm air-bursting round at a velocity sufficient to engage point defilade or exposed targets out to 500 meters.[2]

In addition to air-bursting ammunition, a family of ammunition is being developed to support other missions, which could include armor-piercing and nonlethal scenarios. In Afghanistan deployment, U.S. ground forces have engaged the enemy 9 times without casualties.[3]


Development of the XM25 rifle was completed in the summer of 2010, and it was deployed with the U.S. Army for use on the Afghanistan battlefield. Product development was five years by PEO Soldier. Rifle launcher is made by Heckler-Koch with a sight acquisition computer from Alliant Techsystems. The weapon fires 25-mm shells nearly a half-mile. Five unique types of warheads; Thermobaric, Flechette, Training, High-explosive airbursting, Non-lethal. The Pentagon plans to buy at least 12,500 of the guns in 2012 at a cost between $25,000. and $30,000. each.


  1. Joshua Rhett Miller. U.S. Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' XM25 Rifle in Afghanistan, FoxNews.com, November 28, 2010.
  2. XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System (specs): Fact Sheet.
    • The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System (CDTE) enables the small unit and individual Soldier to engage enemy targets by providing a 25mm airbursting capability that can be used throughout the operational environment. PDF

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