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December 05, 2008

Friday Warporn: "Quick Kill" Active Protection System Destroys Incoming Anti-Tank RPG in Flight; Remote-Control Guided Sniper Round?

The second clip, showing a side-angle, shows the hit.

More details here.

That's impressive, but still a fair way from the goal: integrating this system on a vehicle and intercepting RPGs (or other threats) while on the move.

Now I would have thought that was pretty much impossible. But I guess it's not.

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure this is completely impossible, and while I dig the ambition, I can't help thinking that DARPA has better uses for its research dollars than developing a remote-control guided sniper bullet.

Darpa, the Defense Department's far-out research arm, announced a pair of contracts last Tuesday, to start designing a super, .50-caliber sniper rifle that fires guided bullets. Lockheed Martin received $12.3 million for the "Exacto," or Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance, project, while Teledyne Scientific & Imaging got another $9.5 million.

If the system works, it'll "provide a dramatic new capability to the U.S. military," Darpa says. "The use of an actively controlled bullet will make it possible to counter environmental effects such as crosswinds and air density, and prosecute both stationary and moving targets while enhancing shooter covertness. This capability would have the further benefit of providing increased accuracy and range while reducing training requirements."

"In other words," Danger Room's Sharon Weinberger wrote last year, "it would be the ultimate sniper round."

Come on now.

Maybe I just can't stop thinking of how stupid Gene Simmons' guided bullets looked. How fast were they moving? Sightly faster than a jogging man, it looks like.

Thanks to Maetenloch.

Hmmm... Robb Allen of Sharp as a Marble explains a way to do this that seems kinda doable.

I don't think they mean bullets that can turn 90 degrees and go around corners, they mean rounds with fins that can elevate or slightly correct yaw so that the round stays straight.

When doing long range shooting, you have to compensate for the drop in the bullet by aiming high and you have to compensate for wind. Unfortunately, at long distances, you can't tell what the wind is like, so you have to guess.

Consider using a laser to pinpoint the path you wish the bullet to take. The base of the bullet has fins that, so long as the base of the bullet is directly in the path of the laser, none of the fins are illuminated. As soon as the bullet starts to veer off that path, the energy from the laser is absorbed by the fins, causing them to force the bullet back towards the laser (through flexing or something. I'm not a DARPA guy and have trouble with safety scissors).

By compensating the bullet's path by changing it's shape, you can keep a shot on target regardless of conditions. Heck, even a light angle change should be feasible, meaning the shooter doesn't have to be the guy aiming the laser thus making it harder to pinpoint where to return fire.

HOWEVER... If they don't get Gene Simmons to demo this, I'll be pissed.

Bonus: I've linked the video of the combo AR-15/chainsaw before, but here's a good picture where you can actually see the thing.


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posted by Ace at 02:00 PM

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