DARPA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for development of emerging (and sometime pretty scary) technologies for use by the military, has announced the successful testing of a self-steering bullet which aims (pun not intended) to enable snipers, novice and expert alike, to hit moving targets effectively. Dubbed Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (or EXACTO for short), the effectiveness of the bullet was demonstrated in late February where shooters of varying experience level managed to score hits on moving targets. Employing a real-time optical guidance system, the bullet enters into a self-steer mode upon exiting the barrel, factoring in weather, wind and target movement as it accelerate towards the target.
In the hands of expert shooter, it can even hit accelerating or evading targets effectively. While guided ammunition isn’t new, one in a package as small as a .50 caliber size is unheard of until now, to which DARPA said this breakthrough will “opens the door to what could be possible in future guided projectiles across all calibers.” Our first response when reading that were “yikes” and we pray that we will never be at the receiving end of this ‘bullet with life’. And oh, did we mention that the high-tech rounds were fired from a regular sniper rifle? Though it is not known how big or small is the said optical guidance system. Even if it is big and awkward now, it is only a matter of time before science fiction takes over and .50 homing bullets become real without the bulk. Yikes, again.
via IEEE Spectrum