The XM25 rifle is being developed for the US army.
A rifle is being developed that will fire radio-controlled ‘smart’ bullets that will target enemies no matter where they hide.
The XM25 rifle uses bullets that explode when they have travelled the set distance showering the people below. Soldiers will be able to use them to target snipers hidden in trenches rather than calling in air strikes.
The rifle’s gunsight uses a laser rangefinder to determine the exact distance to the obstruction, after which the soldier can add or subtract up to 3 metres from that distance to enable the bullets to clear the barrier and explode above or beside the target.
The 25-millimetre round contains a chip that receives a radio signal from the gunsight as to the precise distance to the target.
The rifle is being developed for the US army. The army’s project manager for new weapons, Douglas Tamilio, told the New Scientist: ”This is the first leap-ahead technology for troops that we’ve been able to develop and deploy.’
A patent granted to the bullet’s maker, Alliant Techsystems, reveals that the chip can calculate how far it has travelled.
‘You could shoot a Javelin missile, and it would cost $60,058. These rounds will end up costing $21.65 apiece. They’re relatively cheap,’ Mr Tamilio added.
John Pike, a defence analyst with Washington DC think tank GlobalSecurity.org, said: ‘This airburst shell gives the close-combat capability of a grenade launcher, combined with the ability of indirect fire weapons to hit stuff on the other side of the wall.’
The rifle will initially use high-explosive rounds, but its makers say that it might later use versions with smaller explosive charges that aim to stun rather than kill.
Field tests on the new rifle are expected to begin soon, with the US army hoping to begin using it by 2012.
Via Daily Mail