U.S. Army Aims to Build a Better Bullet

TIME

In the olden days, soldiers killed when they fired a bullet at an enemy they could see. Then came indirect fire—lobbing mortars from afar, hoping for a lucky hit.

Now the Army is working on a new round, combining the best of both, by reducing the bad guy’s ability to hide.

Troops on the battlefield like to be “in defilade”—protected from enemy fire by physical obstacles. The Army’s new Small Arms Grenade Munition (SAGM) round is designed to remove the advantage offered by such cover: it explodes in midair after it has cleared whatever shield the enemy is hiding behind.

“It has a sensor that will sense defilade or walls or anything that somebody will be hiding behind,” SAGM chief Steven Gilbert says in a Pentagon release. “And basically detects it without the need of a laser range finder.” He has estimated the new round would more than double the…

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