In the trenchesManeuverable bullet to enhance sniper accuracy

Published 21 October 2010

Snipers have to contend with disruptions such as changing winds, muzzle velocity dispersions, and round-to-round variations; Teledyne, with funding from DARPA, offers a solution in the form of the first-ever guided small-caliber .50 bullet

U.S. snipers will soon receive a performance enhancement // Source:

The accuracy of sniper teams is limited by random variables such as changing winds, muzzle velocity dispersions, and round-to-round variations.

To compensate for such issues, engineers at Teledyne Scientific and Imaging now plan to develop the first-ever guided small-caliber .50 bullet with funding from DARPA.

By doing so, the EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) system aims to maximize the effectiveness of sniper teams while improving their safety.

The Engineer reports that according to DARPA, the EXACTO .50 caliber round and optical-sighting technology will more than double the day and night-time range over current sniper systems, while allowing the sniper to hit moving targets, even in high wind conditions.

DARPA added that the system will combine a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track the target and deliver the projectile to target.

The engineers involved in the program recently completed a successful proof of concept with a hardware-in-the-loop (HITL) simulation of the system. Next, they will build and test a complete system, including the required optical sighting equipment and guided .50 caliber projectiles.

Although intended for use by snipers, DARPA says that the technology is directly applicable to larger caliber weapons, as well as vehicle, ship- and airborne-mounted systems.