• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

XM 109

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
Reaction score
4
Points
430
Will the SM-109 mean the end to the requirement to have Armoured Vehicles and leave the Armed Forces with a Super Soldier?


CUT THEM DOWN: The Barrett XM-109 Sniper Rifle

Sniping just got a whole lot more deadly with the Barrett XM-109 sniper rifle, which marries improved range with the firepower of an Apache helicopter.


Sniper Nirvana: The high-powered Barrett XM-109 rifle.

Hakkaa Päälle -- the term is Finnish for "Cut them down," and it's been passed down from the Finnish cavalry of Gustavus Adolphus in the 17th century to the Finnish infantry during the Russo-Finn Winter War in the 20th century.

With any luck, America's light infantry will soon be saying it as well. Already established as the world's authority and leader in the production of heavy caliber long range sniper rifles -- including the M107 .50 caliber rifle -- Barrett Arms hopes to raise the bar even higher with the introduction of its new XM-109 25mm payload rifle. Based on the existing M-107 design, the XM-109 will give infantry the ability to lethally engage light armored vehicles out to 2500 meters, with the firepower of an Apache helicopter. For Soldiers needing an edge in combat, that's a pretty good can of Hakkaa Päälle to open up on the enemy.

Deadly Combination

The XM-109 is essentially a reconfigured M-107 .50 Caliber semi-automatic rifle -- if you can imagine a .50 caliber rifle being mated with a 25 mm receiver. Thanks to the increased power, the XM-109 rifle is designated as a "payload" rifle, designed to destroy light armor, and light enough to be carried by a single sniper. Essentially, the 25mm upper receiver attaches directly to the lower receiver of the M-107 (in effect, swapping out the .50 caliber components for 25mm ones). In the process, the rifle's weight actually remains unchanged at 33 pounds, but its length has been shortened considerably, with the XM-109 (at 46 inches) being 11 inches shorter than the M-107.

Like the M-107, the XM-109 will come with a spiked bipod (to stabilize the weapon and help manage recoil), a large, multi-baffle muzzle brake, and a standard "flattop" optical sight rail, which will allow the rifle to use any existing electro-optical or thermal weapon sight currently in the US inventory. Ammunition is fed out of a detachable box magazine, though in the case of the XM-109, magazine capacity has been reduced from 10 to 5 rounds. Barrett is currently developing mounts to enable the XM-109 to be used in vehicles, helicopters, and soft-sided (rubber) watercraft.

The centerpiece of the XM-109 system is the 25mm HEDP ammunition it fires. A scaled down derivative of the low velocity 30mm HEDP M789 ammunition fired by the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the MX-109's 25mm ammunition has been judged to be 2.5 times more effective at destroying targets than a .50 caliber armor-piercing round. It is expected that this ammunition can penetrate nearly 40mm (an inch and a half) of armor plating at 500 meters, or blast open doors from around the corner. In other words, it gives the Soldier breaching capability on fortified positions, while minimizing exposure to enemy fire, thanks to its effectiveness at greater distances. Also in the works are a number of specialized rounds, ranging from solid core AP ammunition to non-lethal/ crowd control munitions utilizing inert rubber balls, and RC agents.

Zeroing In

To enable the shooter to engage targets out to 2,500 meters, Barrett has developed an integrated ballistic computer/ riflescope system known as BORS (Barrett Optical Ranging System). Historically, long range shooting has been a highly technical endeavor in which the shooter had to make a number of calculations before the trigger could be pulled. These calculations included range to the target, the effects of barometric pressure and air temperature, and the type of ammunition loaded. BORS automatically calculates all these variables, and adjusts the sight reticule accordingly. All the shooter needs to do is enter the ammunition type into the BORS (using touch pads on the BORS console) determine the range (either mechanically or through a LRF) and crank the elevation knob on the scope until the proper range appears in the BORS display. The BORS automatically determines the temperature and barometric pressure, as well as the cant or tilt in the rifle itself, and incorporates these enviro-physical factors into its calculations. Once the proper range has been entered, the shooter need only put the target under the crosshairs and pull the trigger.

The Block I version of BORS is available now, while Block II (which will include an integrated range finder) is expected to become available in '05 with Block III (new optics, Night Vision capable, wide angle, stabilized image) becoming available in '06. Lastly, Barrett believes that the BORS system will be completely compatible with the 200mm air-bursting grenade featured on the OICW and that similar ammunition could be developed for use in the XM-109, as well as adapting the BORS to the OICW, to provide ranging and environmental information to the 20mm grenade launcher.

Right Weapon, Right Time

The XM-109 isn't the first rifle designed with armor-piercing capabilities in mind. One of the great anti-tank rifles (ATR) was the Finnish L39 Lahti. Firing 20mm AP ammunition, the Lahti was deadly against pre-World War II Soviet tanks. Unfortunately, it was also very rough on the shooter as well. Dubbed the "Elephant Gun" because of its savage recoil, the Lahti was rendered obsolete as an ATR by 1941, and by the conclusion of WWII, ATR itself had became a thing of the past. Too light to penetrate tank (or even modern APC) armor, too heavy to be easily transportable, and too hard on the operator to encourage active use, ATRs were simply outclassed by the emergent ATGMs and RPGs.

Well, ATRs may be making a comeback. While anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) still reign supreme, there is a niche in today's battlefield where a weapon such as the XM-109 would do very well. Too heavy to be truly considered offensive weapons, both the M-107 and the XM-109 excel in the defense. In the environments American soldiers now find themselves (urban built up areas where the primary human threat is either dismounted infantry or modified civilian vehicles such as the Somali "technicals") a cost effective anti-vehicular weapon is just what they need. In this role, the XM-109 has several advantages over both ATGMs and RPGs. Since it is a rifle, it has no back blast, so it can be fired from within an enclosed structure, vehicle, or aircraft, without danger to the vehicle, or passengers. Firing a small DPHE warhead, the XM-109 is perfectly capable of stopping a vehicle without obliterating it and causing additional collateral damage (as would be the case if the target were hit by a TOW missile).

Finally, the XM-109 is usable throughout its entire range, unlike missiles (and at a significantly longer range than an RPG), and is capable of being employed at far shorter ranges (such as those encountered in urban block fights) than would be possible with helicopter launched ATGMs or unguided aerial rockets. The XM-109 isn't going to turn the tide in the war on terrorism by itself, but it will make it a little safer.


 

Lance Wiebe

Sr. Member
Reaction score
5
Points
230
Well, I don't know, George.

It cannot fire the same ammunition as our 25mm, that would be much too "hot" for that weapon.  So it fires a low velocity scaled down 30mm round.  Now we both know just how effective the 25 mm HEI round is, why would one think that a 25 mm HEDP would be that much better?  Actually, I doubt it would be.

I think it will fit in more to the "niche" weapon market, as it would be quite suitable for stopping suicide trucks, such as the one that crashed the Marine barracks in Beirut, and it would be suitable for taking out some lightly armoured vehicles.  So, for a defensive weapon, guarding bases and such, it will most likely be OK.  I don't think I would want to try and stop a modern IFV or MBT with it, though.
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,578
Points
1,060
Great article George.  Is there a link to the original?

Cheers.
 

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
Reaction score
4
Points
430
My suggestion that Armd Vehs would be obsolete is all tongue in cheek, but it may be somewhat in the back of someone's mind for the "Soldier of the Future" program. 

Kirkhill

I got it in an email from the RCAC Assoc. and had no ref of its origins.  Sorry.  It is probably out of their recent news clippings files for the past week or so.

GW
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,578
Points
1,060
Cheers, George and thanks anyway. 

Maybe I'll take a scout around and see what else turns up.
 
M

MG34

Guest
109b.jpg


The XM-109 is not intended to engage tanks although it would be easily capable of destroying optics,and other external mounted equipment.It is an Anti-Material Rifle intended for use against vehicles,missile systems,fire control systems and aircraft on the ground.The HEDP rond would be more than capable of damaging/destroying such targets,as it carries significantly more payload (+ 250%) than the current crop of .50cal projectiles currently used for this task.

More info:

"The ATK 25mm Barrett HEDP is an accurate, safe, and lethal cartridge capable of penetrating in excess of 1.5 â Å“ of RHA armor at a range of 500 meters.

Development success achieved by a disciplined approach to design and testing.

Provides 250% lethality improvement over .50 Caliber API at 1000 meters.

Ammunition design is production ready and supports early fielding of 25mm Barrett Payload Weapon System. "

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2004arms/session6/gates.ppt



 

Infanteer

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Donor
Reaction score
4,112
Points
1,160
Yeesh.

This is nothing new, if anything; it is a throw-back to the antitank rifles of WWII, such as the famed PTRD.

http://www.rt66.com/~korteng/SmallArms/antitank.htm
 
M

MG34

Guest
Yeesh!! ::)

Not even close ,the 25mm payload rifle was never intended to take on tanks,it was designed from the ground up as an anti-material rifle.It's role is to be used to destroy missiles,guidance systems,aircraft,lightly armoured vehicles,and other high value targets.
The PTRS and PTRD were actually built to take out the tanks of the time...and failed miserably at it. It was pressed into service as an AMR but was never intended for that role,the barrett was built from the ground up for just that purpose.
 

Infanteer

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Donor
Reaction score
4,112
Points
1,160
The "Yeesh" was directed at the size of that monster.... 8)

Thanks for the details on the PTRD.  I had meant my post to reflect the idea that we are coming back full scale to the idea of Infantry taking out larger targets with a large caliber rifle.  Plus ca change, plus ca le meme chose.

With some of the knucklehead decisions I've seen come out of Ottawa, I could see the opposite of the PTRD story unfolding; something like the XM109, intended as an AM weapon, is given to the infantry as an anti-tank asset.  Watch and shoot.

Cheers,
Infanteer
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,578
Points
1,060
Certainly could make an interesting pairing with the Javelin ATGM in the Coy/Bn support weapons organization.  Same way the snipers are being paired with a GPMG/C6.
 

KevinB

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
8,281
Points
1,140
Kirkhill said:
 Same way the snipers are being paired with a GPMG/C6.

Maybe I missed the turnip truck but I have never seen a sniper det pared with a C6...
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,578
Points
1,060
http://army.ca/forums/threads/18475.0.html

Sorry Kevin, imprecise terminology on my part.

I was referring to the practice depicted in the above link where marksmen? with scoped rifles are being paired with the MGs. 

I have also seen the pairing in images of the Stryker Brigade where an individual marksman, with a scoped rifle, was paired with an M240 team (2 men, tripod mount) at company/platoon level.  IIRC the members of the unit depicted referred to the guy with a scope as a sniper. 

I accept that a guy with a scoped rifle is not necessarily a sniper just because all snipers have scoped rifles.  My error.

Having said that I still think that pairing the XM109, or a similar AMR, with the Javelin-Gill/Spike type of missile, would give a light commander a highly effective defense against heavier mobile forces, as well as giving a significant "hunting" capability.  Paired with the CG-84 it would also be useful, I would think, against fortified positions.
 

brihard

Army.ca Fixture
Mentor
Reaction score
5,239
Points
1,110
If the thing can crack through and kill the engine on a BTR-80 or similar vehicle, that would be a very nice capability to have... BTRs and bretheren are all over the palce in the armpit countries we're fighting these days. Stopping the vehicle and forcing the troops to dismount to advance would be nice, without having to use up a Carl-G or Eryx that you might need on something bigger. And hey, if some poor sap happens to get in the way of one of these rounds, it's not like he's ever gonna know about it...  :blotto:

Definitely a niche weapon, but nonetheless one with possible application- and I can't wait to go into a movie theater for some action flick two years from now and see a Hollywood Headshot from one of these beasts. :D
 

JasonH

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
This will make any soldier tingle in his pants
-----
http://strategypage.com/gallery/art...s_200481522.asp

xm_109_1.jpg


For some long-range sniper missions, a .50 caliber (12.7mm) round just isn't big enough. The Barrett company, which pioneered the development of the modern .50 caliber sniper rifle, has now built a 25mm sniper rifle (although shoulder cannon may be a more precise term), the XM109. Ten prototype weapons are being made available for testing this month. Designed to destroy light armor, the XM109 is a semi-automatic 25mm rifle that has a 17.6 inch long barrel and an overall length of 46 inches. It weighs in at 46 pounds and has a 5 round magazine. In comparison, the Barrett M107 .50 caliber sniper rifle in general use today has a 29 inch barrel, overall length of 57 inches, and weighs in at a mere 32 pounds, with a magazine capacity of 10 rounds.

A spiked bipod is included to steady the XM109 for firing and it has a standard M1319 accessory rail for scopes and other accessories. Barrett will either sell a complete rifle or supply upgrade kits to convert the M107 .50 sniper rifle over to the 25mm configuration, replacing the bolt, upper receiver, and magazine.

To complement this â Å“rifleâ ? is a computerized sight called the BORS (Barrett Optical Ranging Sighting System). BORS is specifically designed for long-range shooting at 1,000 meters and longer distances, measuring and compensating for air pressure, temperature, and the angle of the weapon in relation to the target. Precisely compensating for all these factors and successfully hitting the target on the first shot is possible, but difficult. BORS is designed to take all the sweat-math work out of first-round shots, leaving the operator with simply dialing in the distance to target, selecting the ammunition type, and putting the cross-hairs on the target. Future versions of BORS will incorporate a rangefinder, and night vision capability.

Effective distance armor piercing â Å“lethalityâ ? for the rifle is listed at 2000 meters. The 25mm round is derivative design from the AH-64 Apache helicopter's M789 high-explosive dual purpose (good against armor and personnel) 30mm ammunition and will penetrate at least 50 millimeters of armor plating, making it capable of destroying light armored vehicles, SCUD launchers, and other equipment. According to the ammunition manufacturer, the 25mm round is 2.5 times more effective at destroying targets than a .50 caliber armor-piercing round. At some point the system will also be integrated to use 25mm airburst ammunition designed for the OCWS.

One drawback to the weapon is the heavy recoil of the round. Barrett is working on reducing the recoil. Finally, a company slide describes the weapon as a â Å“payload rifleâ ? and also alludes to the ability to remove the muzzle break and replace it with a sound suppressor. â “ Doug Mohney

xm_109_2.jpg
 
Top