U.S Army floats the idea of a ‘magic bullet’ that hangs around in the air waiting to strike

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2135489/U-S-Army-floats-idea-magic-bullet-hangs-air-waiting-strike.html

By Ted Thornhill

PUBLISHED: 06:10 EST, 26 April 2012 | UPDATED: 08:22 EST, 26 April 2012

It sounds like something from a science fiction film, but soon, a ‘magic bullet’ that floats around in the air waiting for its target could become science fact.

This far-fetched sounding piece of ammunition isn’t designed to kill, though.

Called ‘Nonlethal Warhead for Miniature Organic Precision Munitions’, there isn’t even a prototype yet – but it’s on the U.S Army’s wish list.

Looking to the future: The U.S Army wants small businesses to develop a floating non-lethal bulletLooking to the future: The U.S Army wants small businesses to develop a floating non-lethal bullet

It’s been requested through the U.S Government’s ‘Small Business Innovation Research’ program, which encourages companies to research and build products in return for a potential commercial deal.

For the floating bullet, the Army admits that ‘this effort will require innovative research and advancements in non-lethal technologies which can be packaged within a very small volume and weight’ and suggests that designers should consider ‘mechanical, such as rubber balls; acoustic; chemical; electrical; or dazzle’.

The idea certainly isn’t pie in the sky, as the U.S Army already has a ‘kamikaze’ robotic drone dubbed Switchblade, which quietly hovers before dive-bombing and blowing up a target.

It launches from a tube before its wings fold out as it flies into the air.

The U.S. Army is paying manufacturer AeroVironment $4.9million for the drones to help it develop a new way of killing suspected militants.

The drones have a miniature electric motor and transmit live video from overhead, which helps soldiers identify the enemy.

Impressive craft: A soldier launches a 'kamikaze' drone and watches its live feed as it flies out of a tube. It will soon be available for use by the U.S. ArmyImpressive craft: A soldier launches a ‘kamikaze’ drone and watches its live feed as it flies out of a tube. It will soon be available for use by the U.S. Army

The operators can then send a message to the drone ‘to arm it and lock its trajectory onto the target’, the company said.

The drone will fly into a target and detonate a small explosive – but it can still be disarmed at the last moment even if it is heading for a kill.

The Army’s Close Combat Weapons Systems (CCWS) signed the contract for the drones with AeroVironment last June.

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Posted on April 26, 2012, in Politics, US Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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