A California-based research and development firm is seeking to make science fiction a reality by inventing guided .50 caliber bullets. In other words, bullets that steer.
The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program conducted tests of guided .50 caliber bullets that can be steered toward targets.
In this recently released video, bullets can be seen adjusting their trajectory and flying toward a target after being fired in another direction.
That’s right, bullets that can be steered.
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DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, awarded the contract for the EXACTO program to Teledyne Scientific and Imaging out of Thousand Oaks, Calif., along with a $25 million grant to develop the technology. DARPA hopes to increase the range at which snipers can engage targets, thereby increasing U.S. military troop safety, and decrease the effect that weather conditions have on long-range shots.
While U.S. military snipers average a 90 percent hit rate at a range of 600 meters, the promised goal is to expand that range to 2,000 meters (more than 2,187 yards).
“Guided bullet” technology is being developed with other companies but the EXACTO-developed rounds use onboard computers for guidance. Sandia National Laboratories is developing guided bullet technology with a laser-guided system.
While the possibilities for guided ammunition have endless applications in the military, police, and civilian markets, the EXACTO technology is currently slated for military use only.