DoD Tests A Bullet That Can Steer: Precision On The Smallest Scale; Maybe There Is A ‘Magic Bullet’ After All

Department Of Defense Tests A Bullet That Can Steer: Precision On The Smallest Scale; Maybe There Is A ‘Magic Bullet’ After All

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Kelsey D. Atherton, writing on the December 19, 2014 website, Popular Science, begins by noting, “since the first gun appeared on the battlefield — bullets have dealt death on the battlefield in straight lines. As the shortest distance between two points, lines are great, but they mean enemies can hide behind walls, or buildings and not get hit, a clearly undesirable prospect for anyone in the business of shooting enemies. Now, the Department of Defense (DoD) is testing a bullet that can change direction in mid-air.”

“With a name that calls to mind both precision and 1950s whiz-bang technical marvels,” Mr. Atherton writes, DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance, or EXACTO, is a .50 caliber round that can change direction as it flies. The details of how it works is completely Secret,” he added. Though the publication ZME Science has previously reported that “shots can be fired from as far away as 1.2 miles — allowing snipers to remain hidden without risk of being spotted. In fact, the publication added, “shots can be fired even without directly seeing the enemy.” EXACTO is crammed with a slew of technologies, including sensors, radio transmitters, and receivers. The optical sensors at the bullet’s tip gathers flight information in real-time, and transmits it back to an onboard computer…where things like speed and distance are computed. Data is then used to move tiny fins on the bullet to adjust trajectory,” the publication added. “Even when the rifle was intentionally pointed away from the target, the bullet still went for its mark — directed by a laser.”

“EXACTO isn’t the first weapon to promise kills around corners. The U.S. Army is testing the “XM-25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement Airburst Weapon System,” Mr. Atherton notes. “That long, Pentagonese name obscures a simple purpose: it’s a gun that shoots explosives that blow up after it goes a set distance, like ‘exactly one foot over that low-flying wall’ or ‘just past this corner where we just gunshots.’ The hope is that the blast is powerful enough to injure or otherwise incapacitate the hostile person it is aimed at. The XM-25 could complete testing in 2016, after which the Army is expected to buy thousands of them.”

Maybe there is a “Magic Bullet,” after all. V/R, RCP

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