Darpa Develops Self-Steering Bullets
Experienced ballistic testers have used the self-steering bullets to hit targets that were actively dodging the shot, and even beginners that were using the system for the first time were able to hit moving targets.
The project, which is known as Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance weapon, or “Exacto”, is being developped for the American government’s military research agency, Darpa.
It is thought to use small fins that shoot out of the self-steering bullets and re-direct its path, but the US has not disclosed exactly how it works. It only announced that the program has “developed new approaches and advanced capabilities to improve the range and accuracy of sniper systems beyond the current state of the art”.
Technology in the self-steering bullets allows it to compensate for weather and wind, as well as the movement of people it is being fired at, and curve itself in the air as it heads towards its target. That should allow snipers to become much more accurate and also increase the accuracy of those that are not experienced at using the system, as was found in the tests in February.
Experts and military advisors hope that it can be used to keep troops safe by allowing them to stay further away from the people they’re targeting, as well as hit them more quickly.
“True to DARPA’s mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target,” said Jerome Dunn, DARPA program manager. “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.
“Fitting EXACTO’s guidance capabilities into a small .50-caliber size is a major breakthrough and opens the door to what could be possible in future guided projectiles across all calibers.”