Photo: US DOD

Few months ago the U.S. Army has sent five examples of the new XM25 ‘Individual Semiautomatic Air Burst System’ developed by ATK, for evaluation by soldiers in Afghanistan, and the feedback received is encouraging. “We are getting great feedback from the Soldiers in the field on this weapon. The Soldiers are really excited to keep the weapon system and have requested to keep it longer than we had initially decided to leave those prototypes in theater” said Col. Scott Armstrong, the program manager for Soldier weapons at Program Executive Office Soldier said.

The U.S. Army is evaluating five XM25 'Individual Semiautomatic Air Burst System'. According to the Program Manager said, "Rifle-to-rifle contacts where the XM25 is employed are very short." Photo: US DOD

Armstrong noted the recent name change helps users focus on the weapon’s true benefits. “The reason we have renamed it is because that is really the materiel solution we have brought to the Army to be able to bridge the gap that was identified as counter-defilade targets.” The weapon is currently in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase. Congress has approved an additional $24.7 million in funding for 36 new prototype XM25s. “We are hoping to have those in our hands for testing by the end of 2012 and downrange six months later to conduct additional field testing with a battalion size unit,” Armstrong said.

While the XM25 offers a full solution integrated weapon, a different concept introduced by Israel Military Industries (IMI) is making headway with the Israeli military testing an add-on modification to standard rifles mounting 40mm grenade launchers, offering airburst-style weapon similar to the XM25. The MPRS is in testing with the Israeli Defense Force and could be ready for fielding in early 2012, Peretz said. The company has also demonstrated for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps; IMI has partnered with General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GD-ATP) to market the system in the U.S.

IMI’s Multi Purpose Rifle System (MPRS) is designed to dramatically improve the accuracy and range of 40mm rifle grenades. The system features an integrated optics, laser rangefinder and processor, all integrated into a single unit that mounts on any rifle with Picatinny rails. Using a touchpad that mounts to a grenade launcher, a soldier can program a special 40mm grenade to accurately explode over a target at ranges beyond 250 meters. “At over 100 or 150 meters, it is very difficult to hit with a 40mm grenade launcher, but with this, you can hit very accurately — from 200 meters you can go right through a window.”

While the XM25 weighs 6.35 kg (14 pounds) with a loaded four-round magazine. The MPRS’s optic/computer, ambidextrous touch pad and connection cable adds only about one pound to a rifle equipped with a 40mm grenade launcher and four grenades – around 6.70 (15 pounds total). While the XM25 offers the benefit of an automatic loading and rapid burst, the Israeli can be fielded more quickly and benefit from existing logistics suport, training and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP). Both systems are currently on display at the 2011 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington.

ATK, IMI Highlight Air Burst System at AUSA 2011. The U.S. system, developed by ATK is currently undergoing operational evaluation in Afghanistan. The Israeli system is being tested by the Israeli Army. The XM25 weighs 6.35 kg with a loaded four-round magazine while an M-16 with MPRS totals 6.70 with the same load of ammo. The XM25 offers the benefit of an automatic loading and rapid burst, the Israeli can be fielded more quickly and benefit from existing logistics suport, training and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP). Photos: US Army, IMI


  1. The US might have the money to spend on the XM25 but other militaries who don’t have the same kind of budget that the US does are more likely to go for the Israeli system because its cheaper and more practical.

    The MPRS is not only going to be cheaper but I imagine is also better for the soldier who has to use the thing.
    The MPRS just attaches to the underside of the soldiers weapon and hey presto he has grenade launcher and rifle whilst the XM25 means the soldier has to carry two weapons ( his rifle & the XM25 ) which is less convenient.

    The MPRS might not be as glamerous as the XM25 but
    its more practical and cost effective.
    The US military needs to remember that it gets its money from the taxpayers and they owe them value for money and that means balancing the budget and buying the cheapest options rather than the fanciest one.

    I don’t say the US should buy MPRS over XM25 because they won’t anyway but in future they need to start demanding the arms companies develop weapons that will be cheap but will still do the job.

  2. The strange thing here is: WHY is IMI showing its MPRS system mounted on the heritage US rifle M-16, a construction from the early sixties — in stead of showing Israeli IMI MPRS mounted on the top-modern Israeli IWI’s Tavor rifle??

  3. MPRS means ONE single assault rifle, in stead of TWO! Especially as XM-25 looks quite bulky and clumsy, for a weapon with ONLY four rounds in its magasine. MPRS is also a substantially cheaper system, good news for everybody who does’t have a very rich Uncle Sam!

    • PS. It also seems, that IMI’s 40 mm grenade schould be able to deliver considerably more “punch” per shot, than the US 25 mm grenade – because it is bigger and heavier.

  4. You seem to forget the extended range of XM25 (700m), the greater muzzle velocity thus rapid engagement of targets, the flatter trajectory thus more effective in urban and jungle environments. However, I do admire the simplicity/effectiveness of the MPRS which has the potential to change infantry tactics. There will no longer be a need to suppress the enemy and flank him, once you identify enemy positions you rapidly engage them, even behind cover. The XM25 will not be fielded to more than 1 weapon to every fireteam, but the MPRS can equip every single rifleman at minimal extra weight. What do you think?