The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has developed a new technology that will soon provide snipers the ability to use self-guiding bullets. Dubbed as the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance program, it promises to add greater accuracy to the sniper's intended targets.
The success of the Exacto program is highlighted in new footage shown belown which displays the self-guiding bullets in action. After conducting a number of tests this year, it appears the .50-caliber projectiles can alter direction while in flight, which is akin to the laser-guided bombs that were first developed by the U.S. at the height of the Vietnam War.
With accuracy standards that it was able to achieve even at a distance of 1.2 miles, the self-guiding bullet works by using optical sensors that are found on the surface of its nose. These sensors are capable of gathering in-flight information which is then transmitted to the bullet's internal electronic systems. After the data is interpreted by the latter, it is then used to adjust a number of fins that are nestled along the exterior of the bullet, making the bullet change its direction.
DARPA's advancement in the self-guiding projectile technology is particularly helpful during those times when weather conditions are extreme. Whether the sniper has to deal with shifting winds or shrouded visibility, DARPA's Exacto program should increase the sniper's accuracy.
The project was tasked with creating a more accurate military artillery that allows for a greater firing range. It also aims to minimize the time that it usually takes to engage with targets and helps to reduce the act of missing targets, which could lead to the revelation of the troops' location. In other words, DARPA has created a bullet that has a mind of its own and knows how to adjust its course midflight.
While some believe that the concept of a "thinking bullet which chases its target" sounds a little scary, others think that it paves the way for U.S. soldiers to perform their duties unhindered.
There are also others who believe that nothing can compare with the accuracy of a human-fired shot. Though the Exacto program is billed as a breakthrough in warfare, soldiers should not stop polishing their targeting and shooting skills. Snipers will most likely agree that their skills are irreplaceable and that the coordination between the human eye and hand is still significant as electronic systems tend to fail at times.