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DARPA’s Guided ‘Smart’ Bullet Makes Snipers More Deadly
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — A frightening new bullet that can guide itself is helping snipers to hit their targets by changing course in mid flight to zoom in on stationary and moving targets. Here are the details:
The Asia Times reports that the U.S.’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, recently made headlines when it showed video footage of a new bullet that changes direction to hit moving targets at long ranges.
DARPA calls this new weapon the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance, or EXACTO for short.
DARPA didn’t give much information about how this top secret weapon works, but it did say that the bullet is maneuverable and has a real-time guidance system that uses optical sighting technology.
In addition, sketches, diagrams and photos posted online show how the bullets are imagined by artists to work.
All theories based on DARPA’s wording suggest that the bullet has optical sensors in its nose area, which feed information to guidance electronics in the middle of the bullet, which in turn sends control commands to small control fins at the back of the bullet.
DARPA says it created the bullet to increase the accuracy and speed at which snipers can fire bullets, as an inaccurate bullet risks troop safety by announcing their presence and giving away their position.
DARPA says the EXACTO is a 50-caliber bullet and when tested, a novice shooter managed to hit a moving target the first time he used the system.
SOURCES: Asia Times, DARPA, Interesting Engineering, New Atlas