BBC News

US military unveils 'smart gun'

By Dan Whitworth
Newsbeat technology reporter

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image captionA US soldier prepares to fire the XM-25

A new gun the US military hopes will help take on the Taliban has been unveiled.

Called the XM-25 it has been described by the US Army as a 'game changer'.

It uses a laser guidance system and specially developed 25mm high explosive rounds which can be programmed to detonate over a target.

Richard Audette helped develop it for the US Army and says it's a big leap forward because it's the first small arms weapon to use smart technology.

Full solution

"The way a soldier operates this is basically find your target, then laze (laser) to it, which gives the range, then you get an adjusted aim point, adjust the fire and pull the trigger.

"Say you've lazed out to 543 metres... When you pull the trigger it arms the round and fires it 543 metres plus or minus one, two or three metres."

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image captionThe XM-25 is already being used by US soldiers in Afghanistan

It means the weapon can be used to target insurgents hiding behind walls or in ditches without the need to call in air strikes.

"That makes it a full solution fire control weapon".

It's already been issued to soldiers in the US military serving in Afghanistan and could be used by British special forces too.

In a statement the MOD wouldn't comment on the new gun but said it is committed to provide front line troops in Afghanistan with the best possible equipment.

In addition it said it is always interested in evaluating emerging technology.

image copyright(C) British Broadcasting Corporation

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