Publication Details

Michael, K. (2012). Self-guided bullets won't stuff up, but what about the grunts and drones firing them?. The Conversation, (22 May),


At the beginning of this year Sandia Labs in the United States announced it had patented a design for a self-guided bullet that could help soldiers at war. The technology is expected to prevent the need for targeted air strikes that could kill innocent people while criminals take cover in their midst. This "super" self-guided bullet can hit laser-designated targets accurately to around 2,000 metres. An example of this capability can be found in the XM25 rifle. To rephrase the Cold War notion of "limited nuclear warfare", we could now say with these latest developments to the war-fighting repertoire that we have the fundamental means for "limited person warfare". Point at your target using the rifle's laser rangefinder, pull the trigger and walk away assured that the kill has taken place, given the bullet detonates at the exact distance to the "obstruction" or strategically nearby. This technology can overcome trenches or urban theatre barricades such as walls.