The U.S. government is spending millions of dollars on creating intelligent missiles – which will determine for targets for themselves.

The Cannon-Delivered Area Effects Munition (C-DAEM) system will use GPS to identify enemy tanks and armoured shells, which will be scanned in advance from the skies.

According to sources, the Pentagon will invest vast sums into the AI-guided munitions, which could be ready by 2021.

They will replace the Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) artillery rounds, which were introduced in the 1980s.

‘The weapons will have a range of up to 60 kilometres…and will be able to search an area of more than 28 square kilometres for their targets,’ New Scientist report.

‘They will have a method for slowing down, such as a parachute or small wings, which they will use while scanning and classifying objects below.’

They add that several contractors are competing for the C-DAEM project.

A spokesperson for the US Army said: ‘This is not an autonomous weapon, nor is it intended to be.

‘We seek an advanced capability for a round – once fired – to continue pursuing a target despite the types of interference that might cause it to pursue something else.

‘This would improve our capabilities to avoid collateral damage.’

Previously, the U.S. army developed a missile that used infrared sensors to locate and attack vehicles, but it had a limited reach if just 200 metres.

The new missiles will be far more powerful, sources say.