U.S. Army deploys rifles with radio-controlled smart bullets

Summary:The U.S. Army's long-awaited, experimental 25mm airburst weapon is headed for battlefields in Afghanistan this month. Labeled a "game-changer," the $35,000 high-tech rifle is capable of firing explosive bullets that can detonate front of or behind a target.

The U.S. Army's long-awaited, experimental 25mm airburst weapon is headed for battlefields in Afghanistan this month.

Labeled a "game-changer," the $35,000 high-tech rifle is capable of firing explosive bullets that can detonate front of or behind a target.  It's designed to give soldiers the option to fire on snipers taking cover in trenches, behind walls or inside buildings rather than calling in artillery fire or an air strike.

It could rewrite age-old battlefield tactics since the enemy will no longer have a place to hide.

(Credit: U.S. Army)

The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, is much like a grenade launcher that fires laser-guided smart rounds. The laser gauges a distance to target and allows the soldier to then add or subtract up to 3 meters to set where the round will explode either above or beside the target.

Once the trigger is pulled and the round leaves the barrel, a computer chip inside the ammunition receives information from the scope about how far it should travel before exploding.

Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the system said in a statement: "With this weapon system, we take away cover from [enemy targets] forever. Tactics are going to have to be rewritten. The only thing we can see [enemies] being able to do is run away."

Topics: Hardware

About

Christopher Jablonski is a freelance technology writer. Previously, he held research analyst positions in the IT industry and was the manager of marketing editorial at CBS Interactive. He's been contributing to ZDNet since 2003. Christopher received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at U... Full Bio

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