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‘Smart’ bullets aim to create ultimate sniper’s rifle

DARPASmartBullet.jpg

This image shows a guided bullet's path to its target (green) compared to the rifle's aim point (red). (DARPA)

‘Smart’ bullets look set to join guided missiles in the military’s growing arsenal of high-tech weapons.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently conducted its first successful live-fire tests of 0.50-caliber bullets capable of “in-flight guidance.” This means that even if a sniper’s aim is off, the bullets can still reach their intended target.

Part of DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, the specially designed bullets are tracked and directed to their target by an optical guidance system. The system compensates for factors such as weather, wind and target movement, according to DARPA.

A video posted on the DARPA website shows a round heading towards a rifle aim point, then maneuvering in mid-flight to hit its intended target. 

Funded by DARPA, EXACTO is being developed by Thousand Oaks, California.-based Teledyne Scientific and Imaging. The program aims to revolutionize rifle accuracy.