The United States already has the most powerful army on the planet. However, to them, that is not enough. Recently they have been looking for proposals to develop a new smart ammo feed system. Sandia National Laboratories has developed and tested a self guided bullet that has the ability to change its path slightly during flight. The army states that the new weapons will help increase lethality while decreasing collateral damage.
Sandia's smart bullet is an impressive new weapon. The bullet can travel at speeds up to twice the speed of sound and hit targets over a mile away. A tiny optical sensor in the bullet's tip will target the destination marked by a laser beam, while electromagnetic actuators connected to fins on the bullet will determine the trajectory path. The bullets will make the fictitious bullet bending in the movie "Wanted" a reality.
The smart ammo feed system will most likely be integrated into the M230 chain guns mounted on Apache helicopters. As a result, the Apache helicopters will use rounds more efficiently saving money and weight allowing the choppers to maneuver better due to reduced weight. The army's goals for the system include a 95% selection accuracy, a fire-rate of 300 rounds per minute, and an inventory selection system. Having a full arsenal of different weapons to match field conditions with the ease of choice will make for one deadly helicopter.
A smart ammo feed system was tried once before during the 70's but was a failed attempt. They were trying to design the system with the same goals in mind, but the design process was limited due to technology at those times and frequently became jammed. Today we have the advantage to use several accurate sensors and have far superior programming techniques that would prove beneficial in its construction.
Fortunately for humanity, the technology can have useful purposes outside the battlefield. The army states that if the technology is a success it can be used in the medical or chemistry fields for organization and distribution purposes. Scientist and doctors would use the system to sort and keep track of a wide assortment of vials or capsules as long as they are of same size and shape. I think the smart feed system could be a very useful tool in the labs for handling hundreds of chemicals, especially for the chemists and manufacturers.