- Materials & Industrial Technology
The U.S. Army Remote Controlled Bullet
The bullet is called Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance Weapon (EXACTO) and is fired from a normal rifle. The bullet has fins and miniature electronics so after the trigger is pulled, the bullet is remote controlled and steered to its target. These bullets would be used mostly by snipers and other critical needs. The need for such a bullet has been demonstrated in Aghanistan. When the gun is fired, another person tracks and can steer the bullet visually to avoid unforeseen objects. The bullet has recently been tested successfully with a 50-cal. The bullet also comes with its own optics, much like a missile that is targeted from a jet fighter to the target. Once the gun is fired, its flight can be corrected using GPS coordinates or steered much like a drone.
The bullet does require a new gun, not weighing more 45 lbs. and costing around $12,000. The bullet development is being done by DARPA, which received a $9.5 million dollar contract for the project. For snipers, any target beyond 800 meters is a very hard hit to achieve for a variety of factors. The new bullet will allow targets to be hit as far as 2500 meters. The record so far for any sniper has been hitting a target 1.5 miles distant in Afghanistan in 2002. However, the sniper's first two shots missed. With the new bullet, it is most likely only one shot would be needed. Since snipers work in teams of two- the guy with the gun and the other as a spotter, the spotter may control the bullet much like a pilot steers a missile to the target, or, if the bullet has its own optics in the nose and electronics, then once the target coordinates is fixed, it may be a fire and forget system.
While it is a cool idea, one can see numerous issues because unlike fixed targets, snipers shoot humans who can change location in a flash, without notice. If this was the case, would the bullet automatically alter the course?