The U.S. Army is exploring ways to turn deadly mortar systems into life-savers for troops with dwindling ammunition.

Teams at U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, may have found a way to quickly send infantrymen resupplies of 5.56-millimeter rounds during firefights. The plan is to use GPS-guided mortar shells that use parasails in their final descent.

The patented rounds are called Ammunition Resupply Projectile (ARP).

“This concept allows a guided package to be delivered with incredible accuracy within minutes,” said Ryan Decker, whose name appears on the patent application, the Army reported March 6.

The Army’s story, first reported by Popular Mechanics, has been deleted, although content was cached by Google.

“There are still a number of variables to be considered, such as the potential for friendly casualties if the navigation system fails,” the military news website SOFREP reported Sunday. “This novel approach to the issue of needing a faster means to resupply soldiers in the field, however, offers an extremely cost-effective solution, as it relies almost entirely on existing off-the-shelf-military equipment and technology.”

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