The XM29 OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) was a weapons system that attempted to combine a traditional assault rifle platform with an magazine-fed 20mm airburst grenade launcher. The OICW Program, run by the US Army, began in the 1990s, but was eventually cancelled and replaced.
Development and Design Edit
The XM29 was part of a US Army created weapons competition OICW program, Objective Individual Combat Weapon. The goal of the competition was to select and develop a next generation service rifle for the US Army, in the wake of its failed Advanced Combat Rifle Program (ACR) competition only a decade earlier.
The XM29 was developed by Alliant Techsystems working with Heckler and Koch. Its three major components were the computerized sight system, a semi-automatic, magazine-fed 20mm airburst grenade launcher, and a carbine slung underneath.
The sighting system was a computerized sight for use with the grenade launcher. In addition to those properties, it had a laser rangefinder, thermal night vision capabilities, and a 6x optical sights.
During its development, several flaws persisted in the XM29's design, most notably the weight, cost, and ineffective 20mm airburst round.
Unable to work through such problems, the OICW program was cancelled in 2004 to be replaced by a three step alternative program, known as the OICW Increments. OICW Increment One would develop upon a stand-alone underslung carbine platform (which would lead to the development of the XM8). OICW Increment Two would build upon a stand-alone 20mm airburst grenade launcher (which would lead to the XM25), and OICW Increment Three would be meant to combine both standalone platforms from previous increments. However, in 2005, the OICW program was essentially cancelled.