DARPA demonstrates breakthrough in self-guided bullets

DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance (EXACTO) program just had its most successful round of live-fire tests to date. The tests were conducted in February with an experienced shooter using the self-steering bullet technology to repeatedly hit “moving and evading targets” while a novice shooter used the system for the first time to hit a moving target, according to a press release.

“True to DARPA’s mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target,” Jerome Dunn, DARPA program manager said in the release. “This live-fire demonstration from a standard rifle showed that EXACTO is able to hit moving and evading targets with extreme accuracy at sniper ranges unachievable with traditional rounds.”

The program from the Pentagon’s research arm is a major innovation in rifle accuracy. If ever made public, this kind of technology could potentially bring hyper-acute accuracy from warzones to hunter’s rifles.

For DARPA, the EXACTO program also goes a long way in enhancing troop safety – allowing greater shooter standoff ranges and “reduction in target engagement timelines,” according to the release.

“Fitting EXACTO’s guidance capabilities into a small .50-caliber size is a major breakthrough and opens the door to what could be possible in future guided projectiles across all calibers,” Dunn added.