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US Military Develops “Self-Steering” Bullets that Can Hit a Mobile Target



Image credit: Tatiana Shepeleva/shutterstock

If you think that the study on robotic pack animals, initiated by the U.S. Department of Defense, is not so that terrifying, their tests on ‘self-steering’ bullets in February could be unnerving with the progress made so far.

This project is known as EXACTO. With a video released by the team from America’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), it showed that the smart bullets were launched and then successfully modified their course so as to hit a moving target.

Its working principle was to use small fins on the sides of the bullet, which would guide it to the target traced by lasers. However, DARPA are keeping silent about how it really works due to understandable reason.

The military is often confronted with some disadvantageous conditions, for example, bad weather, wind, and moving targets, which could greatly affect the soldiers’ accuracy. Therefore, in the normally case, the well-trained snipers should apply to the preserve for hitting difficult targets. But in this video, it was revealed the way in which the weapon could be handled by new hand, not mention of trained sharpshooters, and accuracy would remain all the same. The smart bullets not only enhance the accuracy of squaddies, but also increase their range.

As Jerome Dunn, DARPA program manager said, EXACTO has showed something that was impossible to realize before, that was the continuous guidance of a small-calibre bullet to target. This live-fire presentation from a normal rifle demonstrated that EXACTO was capable of hitting moving and evading targets with super accuracy at sniper ranges, which could not achieved with conventional rounds.

As the team had applied this new and modernized technology to a comparably small .50-caliber round, it was thought to be an impressive breakthrough, which could help put the system into operation of other larger caliber shells sometime in the days to come.