The US Army is set to start using a futuristic rifle, the XM25, which is capable of firing radio-controlled smart bullets, for the first time in Afghanistan.

The XM25 has a range of 2,300ft and uses programmed bullets that explode when they have travelled a set distance, making it possible to hit targets that are out of the reach of conventional rifles.

The rifle’s 25mm round is fitted with a chip that receives a radio signal from the gun sight, which uses a laser rangefinder to determine the exact distance to the obstruction to be able to hit the target.

Project manager for the system lieutenant colonel Christopher Lehner expects the army to buy 12,500 rifles this year.

US army project manager for new weapons Douglas Tamilio said the rounds cost £15.50 a piece.

The rifle has been specially developed for the US army and will be deployed later this month.