The Self-Guided Bullet Is Here

While doing a little lunchtime web-surfing, I ran across a story that might provide a little diversion from politics, at least for a minute or two:

Developing more precise weaponry has been a mission for government and industry scientists for decades. Most recently, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded tens of millions of dollars in contracts to companies to develop guided ammunition for snipers and special scopes that account for crosswinds and other environmental variables.

The idea behind Sandia Labs’ bullet is rooted more in the M2, a belt-fed machine gun that became standard issue in the U.S. Army nearly 80 years ago. Pairing the M2 with the guided bullet would allow soldiers to hit their mark faster and with precision.

At 4 inches long and a half-inch in diameter, the bullet directs itself like a tiny guided missile and can hit a target more than a mile away.

It’s designed to twist and turn, making up to 30 corrections per second.


The design for the bullet includes an optical sensor to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that use an algorithm in an eight-bit central processing unit to command electromagnetic actuators. The actuators steer the fins that guide the bullet.


Wonder how long it’ll take for lefties to call for a ban on self-guided bullets. Oh, wait, that’s politics again. Shame on me.

Seriously, this could really be handy on the battlefield… allowing soldiers to fire with far greater accuracy and effectiveness. Might even be possible for the soldier to hide behind a wall and either stick the gun around the corner or over the top of the wall and fire at a target that’s being lased by another soldier, keeping both soldiers safer.

Of course, I also like the geek factor of a bullet guiding itself to the target, but that’s just me.


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