Video: Steerable Bullets That Really Work


Video: Steerable Bullets That Really Work

Bullets that change their paths as they fly, acting like guided missiles. Sounds like science fiction–but it’s real.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is charged with “maintaining the technological superiority of the U.S. military,” has revealed that a successful test in February 2015 showed “repeatable performance against moving targets.”

The program is called Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO), and it has clearly attained one of its goals: “the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target.” Program manager Jerome Dunn was quoted as saying, “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. 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.”

No information is given about how the shooter or spotter guides the bullet. An earlier video shows a point of aim that differs from the point of impact but doesn’t say whether the bullet’s path is guided by the shooter adjusting his or her aim after pulling the trigger, or what. Perhaps a spotter guiding the bullet would be more effective, because that would allow constant following of the target without any interruption for recoil.

Either way, it’s impressive. Will it eventually lead to guided bullets for long-range hunting? I doubt it. Very few people could afford such luxury. I shudder to think how much each of these rounds costs us taxpayers.

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