DARPA’s EXACTO Program Creates Self-Steering Bullet


DARPA

In the beginning of May 2015, the United States military announced that they have made great progress in its effort to develop a self-steering bullet. The system has been developed by DARPA's Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance program, known as EXACTO.

This past February, the new bullets, known as “smart bullets,” successfully passed a round of live fire tests. According to DARPA, the bullets are .50 caliber projectiles equipped with optical sensors and, in this most recent round of tests, an experienced marksman "repeatedly hit moving and evading targets" making it the most successful round to date.

"Additionally," the DARPA statement said, "a novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target." In other words, now you don't even have to be a good shot to hit the mark.

Jerome Dunn, DARPA program manager, is extremely proud of the project. "True to DARPA's mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target," he said in a statement. “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 purpose of DARPA’s EXACTO program is to give shooters more accuracy when operating in situations of high winds as well as giving them accuracy at greater distances by engaging the target sooner. This is all with the main goal of enhancing the safety of American troops.

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is an agency of the United States Department of Defense that is responsible for developing emerging technologies for military use. It was created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 for the purpose of formulating and executing research and development projects to expand the frontiers of technology and science.

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