Not too long ago I wrote about the disappointment of the new XM25 grenade launcher. The tragedy is two fold: one, the weapon was to be a replacement for the M16/M4 and two, it was to fire standard rifle ammunition as well as the programmable explosive rounds. While the weapon is undoubtably an advance, it is more of a baby step than a leap forward as it will not replace any rifles and there will probably only be about four issued to each platoon.
High costs were cited as part of the reason the rifle/grenade launcher design was dropped and why the launcher is to be issued in small numbers. This is disturbing as there is money for billion dollar F-22s and submarines. Just a couple of days ago a new multi-million dollar littoral combat ship was commissioned. All of these big ticket items are great additions to our military, but then certainly money can be found for an all new weapon for every infantryman.