The U.S. military, in its quest to acquire Zorg Industries' ZF-1, is planning to begin testing the XM25 rifle in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that gun's special talent is pretty close to the ZF-1's memory feature.
The XM25 will allow soldiers to fire explosive rounds — as opposed to regular bullets or full-size grenades — that pack quite a punch. It's fitted with a laser rangefinder that allows the shooter to calculate the distance to a target, and then program the bullets to explode up to 3 meters beyond the target. That would allow soldiers to fire at a structure and instruct the bullets not to detonate until they were inside.
As the 25-millimetre round is fired, the gunsight sends a radio signal to a chip inside the bullet, telling it the precise distance to the target. A spiral groove inside the barrel makes the bullet rotate as it travels, and as it also contains a magnetic transducer, this rotation through the Earth's magnetic field generates an alternating current. A patent granted to the bullet's maker, Alliant Techsystems, reveals that the chip uses fluctuations in this current to count each revolution and, as it knows the distance covered in one spin, it can calculate how far it has traveled.
The Pentagon says this could reduce civilian casualties, by limiting the use of less accurate grenade launchers, artillery attacks or air strikes in civilian areas.
Zorg Industries plans to launch an acquisition of Alliant Techsystems in 250 years.