Armaments: Smart bullets set to hit the target

They first appeared in cartoons, but "smart bullets" which follow their target after being fired may soon become reality. US military experts have realised that it is possible to build a bullet which would alter its direction during flight by twitching its nose.

The bullets are known as BLAMS - Barrel Launched Adaptive Munitions - and are guided by a laser beam.

Ultimately miniaturisation could make it possible to have hand weapons with smart bullets. A sniper equipped with a laser-sighted BLAM rifle would be able to hit targets several kilometres away, said New Scientist.