DARPA has conducted a new test of its self-steering bullets, showing off their ability to hit moving targets. The testing further demonstrates the effectiveness of the projectile, which was developed under the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, with both experienced and novice shooters successfully hitting their marks.
The agency has previously revealed that its self-steering bullets make use of a real-time guidance system that tracks the chosen target, with the projectile changing path during flight to home in on its mark. Past that, DARPA is keeping quiet on how the technology actually works.
The rationale behind it, on the other hand, is rather straightforward. Essentially, the idea is to allow snipers to accurately hit targets at a greater distance than would usually be possible, overcoming unfavorable environmental conditions to outrange hostile combatants and thereby improve troop safety.
While we've seen the rounds in action before, previous footage had only shown the tech being used to hit a stationary target. The new tests demonstrate the projectiles' ability to routinely hit moving targets, regardless of the experience level of the shooter.
Gizmag contacted DARPA in relation to the new round of testing, and while the agency declined to comment further on the project, we can safely assume that the newly-demonstrated ability to hit moving targets is the result of improvements made since the technology was revealed last year.
"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," said program manager Jerome Dunn. "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."
As of yet, there's no indication as to when the ammunition might make its way into the field. To see the agency's self-steering bullets in action, you can take a look at the video below.