The US Army is planning to test a smart rifle that can hit soldiers who are shielded by cover.
The tests, planned for early next year, will monitor the performance of a weapon known as the XM25 Counter Defilade Engagement System.
Created by Orbital ATK, the shoulder-fired gun has a built-in ‘target acquisition and fire control system’, allowing soldiers with basic shooting skills to fire the system.
It uses bullets that are programmed to explode when they have travelled a set distance, allowing enemies to be targeted no matter where they are hiding.
The rifle also has a range of 2,300 feet making it possible to hit targets which are well out of the reach of conventional rifles.
Its gunsight uses a laser rangefinder and smart software to determine the exact distance to the target.
The soldier can then 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.
Soldiers will be able to use them to target snipers hidden in trenches rather than calling in air strikes.
The 25-millimetre round contains a chip that receives a radio signal from the gunsight to find out the precise distance to the target.
In 2010, the Army’s PEO Soldier program office sent prototypes of the XM25 to Afghanistan to see how it would perform in combat.
Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the system, described the weapon at the time as a ‘game-changer’ that other nations will try and copy.
Lehner told FoxNews: ‘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.’
Orbital ATK ckauns the XM25 can accurately hit a ‘point target’ at 500 meters and hit targets with area airbursts at up to 700 meters.
The rifle will initially use high-explosive rounds, but its makers say later versions may have smaller explosive charges that aim to stun rather than kill.