Tech by VICE

DARPA's Homing Bullets Can Now Hit Moving Targets

Even a novice shooter can hit a moving target with the magic missiles.

by Emiko Jozuka
Apr 28 2015, 10:20am

​0.5 caliber bullets. Image: ​UK Ministry of Defence/Flickr

Back in July 2014, US Department of Defense research agency DARPA flexed its military might and demonstrated it was tran​sforming projectiles into mini homing missiles. Its smart gun technology has since got even scarier, as it's now shown its guided bullets can even hone in on moving targets.

Noting that they'd completed their most successful live-fire test to date in February 2015, the agency announced in a stateme​nt that "an experienced shooter using the technology demonstration system repeatedly hit moving and evading targets." Training doesn't look like a prerequisite to use this technology either: The statement continued, "Additionally, a novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target."

In a video released yesterday, ammo from the agency's Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program is shown zoning in on moving and accelerating targets with chilling accuracy. Just like last time, the mini missiles are also immune to external variables such as weather, wind, and target movement. You can see the homing missile arch into the air then veer sharply off course to the right as it hones in on the evading target.

DARPA's program manager, Jerome Dunn, said in the statement that this live-fire demonstration from a standard rifled reflected the accuracy with which EXACTO is able to hit moving and evading targets. This, he said, wasn't possible before with rounds fired from the same kind of sniper range.

"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," he noted. A .50 ca​liber round measures roughly 0.5 inches (12.7 mm) in diameter, andcan be used in machine g​uns and sniper rifles.

It's chilling to think what could happen if this technology reaches larger missile systems.