As a sniper in the military, I sometimes wished I had a bullet that could steer its own course, especially in multiple shifty crosswinds, or if a target was slightly behind some type of cover. It appears that dream is now becoming a reality.
DARPA has done the “almost” impossible and created something that we’ve only seen in the movies. This year, DARPA has successfully tested its self-guided, mid-flight-changing .50 cal. projectile. DARPA’s “Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance” (EXACTO) project is tasked with “developing more accurate military artillery that will enable greater firing range, minimize the time required to engage with targets, and also help reduce missed shots that can give away the troops’ location.”
It seems that the projectile operates in the same manner as laser-guided bombs used in the GWOT. A few months ago, DARPA successfully tested the .50 cal. bullet at a distance of 1.2 miles. The projectile uses optical sensors in its nose to gather in-flight information and internal electronic systems that control the projectile’s fins—which most likely deploy in-flight, as they cannot be seen from the EXACTO photos.
The video link below shows a live testing of DARPA’s guided bullet with the rifle intentionally aimed to the right of the target. In the video, it shows how the projectile homes in on its intended target, changes its flight path, and connects. If this technology hits our military, snipers may not have to worry about the environmentals on those must-hit shots.
Although I do like the technology, I am also a firm believer in the basics, and will continue to rely on what I was taught and continue to practice in regards to precision shooting.
“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”- Albert Einstein