DARPA’s self-guided bullet

13 Jul

Many of the technical advances of today seem to come straight from the science fiction movies of the past. The latest weapon system being developed by DARPA (defense advanced research project agency) seems to have come straight out of the 1984 movie Runaway where the antagonist uses a miniature self-guide projectile. The bullet that DARPA, named EXACTO (Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance). is working on might not quite be as advanced as this fiction mini-missile and made for a much more noble cause.

“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,” DARPA explains on their website.

The 4” long projectile uses an optical guidance system and has fins more like a missile than a bullet. A YouTube video posted by DARPA on July 10, 2014 shows the projectile being shot from a .50 caliber sniper rifle and making adjustments in flight to hit its target. The test was conducted in February of this year. The EXACTO gives snipers an affective range of 2,000 meter (approximately 1.4 miles).

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