Smart Ammo Developed for Ground Troops

Smart ammunition technology already exists in missiles fired from ships and fighter jets, but soon American troops on the ground will have the same kind of advantage.

Developers at Picatinny, an armament research and development center in New Jersey, and the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland are working on so-called airburst ammunition (search) that will give U.S. troops the power to hit enemy targets without actually seeing them.

What the military and civilian contractors have come up with is a 25-millimeter round that can be shot from a variety of weapons including the XM-25, which is still under development. The ammo explodes into as many as 600 pieces.   

"Before, if someone was behind a barricade, you had to hit at the barricade and hope they came out and shoot the target," said Major Michael Williams, small and mid-caliber ammo specialist.

"But if they're behind the barricade you can shoot above the target and the round will burst killing anyone behind the target."

Tank crews are also expected to get smart ammo, known as the MIRM (search) or mid-range munitions.

Though still under development and U.S. troops will have to wait until at least 2008 before they'll see this technology on the battlefield, tests show this type of warfare is possible.

Go to the video link at the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Todd Connor.