EXACTO Bullets Change Course In Mid-Air

The EXACTO (Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance) system is a revolutionary weapons technology created by DARPA that is intended to greatly improve rifle accuracy and range by using what amounts to a guided bullet.

(EXACTO smart bullet video

The EXACTO program — or Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance — is being developed by California’s Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, LLC at the behest of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, according to a DARPA video posted on YouTube.

“The objective of the EXACTO program is to revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet,” DARPA officials said in a July statement accompanying the video. “The EXACTO .50-caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems.”

The specially designed ammunition can change direction in midair.

How that is done remains a tightly held secret. The Defense Department and its related agencies declined to comment.

On DARPA's Tactical Technology Office - EXACTO site, the purpose of the program is explained thusly:

For military snipers, acquiring moving targets in unfavorable conditions, such as high winds and dusty terrain commonly found in Afghanistan, is extremely challenging with current technology. 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.

Science fiction fans may recall the remarkable bullets used in Philip E. High's 1966 novel The Mad Metropolis:

He laughed softly. “I know what you’re thinking—you’re thinking that Mother will be able to plot back the point of impact to angle of trajectory in about ten seconds flat, only we thought of that. This little weapon ejects a rather ingenius missile; a device inside it will turn it at right angles 1.02 seconds after it leaves the barrel. Mother will, therefore, take at least six times longer than necessary to calculate the spot from which the missile was fired.”
(Read more about Philip E. High's right angle projectile)

Thanks to Winchell Chung (aka @nyrath Project Rho) for contributing this item.

Via Stars and Stripes and DARPA Tactical Technology Office - EXACTO.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/16/2014)

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