Pentagon Confirms Successful Test Of Self-Guided Bullets

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 02:06 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency  disclosed the first successful live-fire tests demonstrating in-flight guidance of .50-caliber bullets.

On July 10, the agency issued a statement and posted a video on YouTube showing the bullets "maneuvering in flight to hit targets that are offset from where the sniper rifle is aimed."

The tests were conducted by the agency's Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program on Feb. 24, 2014.

According to EXACTO's website, the bullets would enable military snipers to hit moving targets in conditions such as in Afghanistan where "high winds and dusty terrain" pose challenges to carrying out their duties.

"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," according to the website.

According to Tech Times, Sandia National Labs carried out testing of a similar guided bullet in 2012 but its use of laser beams to target the bullets made it ineffective in cloudy conditions. However, like drones, which first had military use, the paper reports that Sandia plans to make its system commercially available soon.

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