When launched, most missiles head directly for their targets. New technology developed by a French manufacturer though could have the weapon hanging out midair for up to six hours before ever being directed toward a stationary or moving target.
The "Fire Shadow" is a form of loitering munition weapon system by MBDA Missile Systems that has a 60 mile range with minimal collateral damage, according to CDL Systems. Here's more from CDL Systems on the technology within the weapon:
Our software, VCS-4586, provides the command, control, and monitoring capabilities for Fire Shadow. Operators control the weapon with VCS-4586 which provides real-time situational awareness making the system particularly effective in complex scenarios.
Watch the concept design for the missile:
Gizmodo reports the Fire Shadow first began testing in Nov. 2010 with its first ones being sent through production in March 2012. It notes the U.K.'s 39th Regiment Royal Artillery being the first recipients. Flight Global reports that the missile would have been used by the British army in Afghanistan, but it decided to delay its use there for now. It notes that the military will be conducting its own tests of the missile later this year.
Watch the actual weapon in action during this demo: