DARPA seems to always be at the leading edge of finding more creative and effective means of killing. They first announced in July, 2014 their EXACTO Project (Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance) – the first ever guided low-caliber “smart” bullets.
A rather low-quality video of the 50-caliber round sought to demonstrate the potential for a “state-of-the-art sniper system (that) combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target, allowing the bullet to change path during flight.”
Now DARPA is announcing that they have successfully completed “its most successful round of live-fire tests to date.” Perhaps most notably, even a novice shooter using the system for the first time was able to hit a moving target with the guidance system. The target hits are shown in the newest video.
Program manager Jerome Dunn explains the significance, at least in technical terms:
True to DARPA’s mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target. This live-fire demonstration from a standard rifle showed that EXACTO is able to hit moving and evading targets with extreme accuracy at sniper ranges unachievable with traditional rounds. 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. (Source)
The ‘continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target’ seems to be tailor made for a robot army controlled by artificial intelligence. May we live in interesting times.