The US Defense Department has developed a laser-guided bullet that can change its trajectory in mid-air to follow a moving target. The .50-calibre EXACTO bullet – and acronym for EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance – has an inbuilt sensor that can track its target from the mounted laser on the sniper rifle it’s fired from.
“The EXACTO system seeks to improve sniper effectiveness and enhance troop safety by allowing greater shooting standoff range and reduction in target engagement timelines,” reads DARPA’s statement on the advanced round, boasting that its “specially designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system help track and direct projectiles to their targets by compensating for weather, wind, target movement and other factors that could impede successful hits.”
We have seen a lot of advancements in military equipment and devices in recent years, but it seems that there is more to come. The latest news shows that the US military has been testing .50-calibre bullets with in-flight guidance systems, having the ability to turn the projectiles into small homing missiles.
The miniaturized homing missiles are apparently being made by Darpa’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance, or EXACTO for short, having them be designed with the ability to adjust their trajectory in-flight in order to hit targets that are not precisely aimed. This means that every bullet can hit any type of target, including moving, high-speed or long-range targets, without the need to compensate with other external factors, such as weather, wind or even elevation in some cases.
“For military snipers, acquiring moving targets in unfavourable conditions, such as high winds and dusty terrain commonly found in Afghanistan, is extremely challenging with current technology. It is critical that snipers be able to engage targets faster, and with better accuracy, since any shot that doesn’t hit a target also risks the safety of troops by indicating their presence and potentially exposing their location.” say Darpa on their website.
It is said that the EXACTO system is made up of both the bullet and the guidance system which tracks and delivers the projectile to the target. The bullets themselves are said to be the size of a large pen, having them to fit in both .50-calibre snipers and machine-guns. However, the new tech is still far away from reaching the battlefield. While tests show the first ever projectiles and their results in the field, more tests are said to be required in order to make the new tech ready for the actual battlefield.