Department of Defense developing smart sniper bullets that can change direction

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Dec 26, 2014, 9:58 AM EST

It sounds like something straight out of science fiction, but the Department of Defense is developing a new smart bullet that can be controlled in flight — meaning it’s basically a bullet you can steer.

The project is under the super-secret defense group DARPA, and is codenamed Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO). The bullet is a .50 caliber round that can change direction as it flies. How does it work? No one knows, as the exact details of the technology are currently classified. Seriously. So all we do know is that we need to be terrified.

The EXACTO program is being developed with snipers in mind, with the idea being that a shooter could theoretically control a bullet over an insanely long distance to ensure that it finds its target. We’re extremely curious to see how this will work in execution, considering that bullets move so quickly they’d be a bit hard to control en route.

But that’s not the only magic bullet in the works. Along with EXACTO, Popular Science reports that the U.S. Army is also testing the “XM-25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement Airburst Weapon System,” which has a similar function but works a bit differently. The XM-25 uses exploding rounds that can be programmed to blow at a certain distance, in an effort to take out hostiles.

So, yeah, watch your back — and your front. And sides. A sniper could be aiming from anywhere, apparently.

(Via Popular Science)