Pentagon military projects lab DARPA has completed tests showing its self-guided bullet is now even more accurate.
It can also be used effectively in the hands of someone not trained to use a sniper rifle.
Called the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO), the self-guided bullet does exactly what it says on the box, i.e. it changes path mid-flight.
DARPA mentions “aero-actuation controls, power sources, optical guidance systems and sensors” but has so far only provided this single mock-up of an innocuous looking 50-caliber round:
In July last year, it released footage of a successful first test. Today, DARPA showed evidence of continuous firing success. The red line shows the initial trajectory of the bullet; the green line shows its adjustments on the wing:
And here’s an example of how EXACTO performs in the hands of an untrained, first-time users of a sniper rifle:
DARPA program manager Jerome Dunn said the latest EXACTO tests “demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target”.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Obviously, it’s bound to be one of the world’s most expensive single bullets, but DARPA says it is critical for snipers to be able to engage targets faster, and with better accuracy.
“Any shot that doesn’t hit a target also risks the safety of troops by indicating their presence and potentially exposing their location,” it said.