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DARPA's made a SELF-STEERING 50-cal bullet – with video proof

Spray and pray: Magic round turns unskilled bods into precision marksmen

Vid The military boffins at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have shown off how the latest version of their "steerable bullet" lets a complete novice hit a distant target with pinpoint accuracy.

EXACTO Live-Fire Tests, February 2015, DARPA

The firearms program, dubbed the EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO), has built a .50" bullet that can be guided to a moving target by adjusting its flight in midair. A video from DARPA shows the bullet hitting its target when fired by a novice with a sniper rifle.

"True to DARPA's mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target," said DARPA program manager Jerome Dunn.

"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."

The EXACTO round isn't intended for general use but as a tool for long-range snipers who provide support for ground troops in the field. No details have been released on the cost of each unit – or the ammunition – but it's unlikely to be cheap. ®


.50BMG ball cartridges - a dumb lump of lead wrapped in a cupro-nickel jacket - cost about £3 each in Blighty. Vulture Central's backroom gremlins imagine a self-steering smart .50" round would easily cost double or triple that.

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