Baltimore company's "smart bullet" gets TIME recognition
A major Baltimore-based division of Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) was recently honored by Time magazine for having one of the 50 best inventions for 2009: The so-called "smart bullet."
Alliant, which is based in Minnesota, is a military contractor that has sprawling operations across the United States and manufactures everything from weapons to propulsion systems. In Baltimore, the company's "Mission Systems" group oversees the design of advanced weapons systems, a.k.a. big, powerful guns.
One of their latest invention, the XM25, got the "smart bullet" nickname because it can explode at a pre-determined range. ATK says it "features a unique turn-count fuze, coupled with a laser range finder to detonate without impact at a pre-determined range." The bullet is being designed and tested in Minnesota.
It got the #46 spot in Time's top 50 list. The #1 invention of the year, according to Time, was NASA's new Ares rockets currently in development. Coincidentally, ATK is the prime contractor for the solid rocket motor first stage of the Ares I.
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