Self-steering bullets may soon be loaded up inside of U.S. military sniper rifles. Ever pushing forward with new and improved ways to combat the enemy, an advanced research division of the Department of Defense has successfully tested a “smart bullet.” Once fired, the .50 caliber bullets showed a 100 percent accuracy of hitting mobile, evading targets.
Writes Live Science: “In what some might consider a terrifying development, the U.S. military has passed a key milestone in creating self-steering bullets. Using technology developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), experienced and novice shooters alike demonstrated that they could hit moving targets during a series of tests in February, agency officials announced April 27.”
DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program introduced the smart bullets and released the video specs of their test fires. In the video, six “expert shooters” and one “untrained first-time user of a sniper rifle” each were able to strike the moving target with equal accuracy. The bullets are seen course-correcting from their predicted ballistic path and hitting the targets.
“True to DARPA’s mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target,” said DARPA Program Manager Jerome Dunn. “This live-fire demonstration from a standard rifle showed that EXACTO is able to hit moving and evading targets with extreme accuracy at sniper ranges unachievable with traditional rounds.”
The bullets work in conjunction with an infrared “smart scope.” As long as the sniper keeps the scope trained on the target, the bullet will change direction to hit the specific target point.
Adds the HuffPost: “The bullet is able to communicate wirelessly with the gun, using tiny fins to help it steer. The idea is that by making bullets far more accurate, snipers will require less training and be able to cope with adverse conditions such as weather, visibility and more.”
DARPA, in their DOD report on the project, stated: “The system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target, allowing the bullet to change path during flight to compensate for any unexpected factors that may drive it off course… It is critical that snipers be able to engage targets faster, and with better accuracy, since any shot that doesn’t hit a target also risks the safety of troops by indicating their presence and potentially exposing their location,” the report reads.
While many are hailing this advanced development, some are calling it “frightening” and “unnerving.”
“Pretty scary stuff considering how our government is ever growing scared of ‘We the People…’” writes one commenter on a related story. “Wanted: Sniper. No experience required,” writes another. “How long until our enemies steal this technology?” asked another commenter.
Sound off below: What are your thoughts on self-steering bullets?