kkleiner writes: Small lightweight microphones are saving the lives of US soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Shoulder Worn Acoustic Targeting Systems (SWATS), developed by defense company QinetiQ, use shockwave and muzzle blast noise to locate enemy gunfire . A single shot is all it takes to give the soldier the bearing and distance to the sniper trying to take his life. A tactical display or audio alert from the device tells the soldier where to look so they can return fire or take cover. With SWATS, you go from sitting duck to well-informed angry defender in less than a second. QinetiQ recently announced that the US Army had ordered 13,500 SWATS units, with the option to pick up 30,000 more.