US Military to Get the Help of Self-guided Smart Bullets

February 1, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

You can’t save a nation by firing a shot and hoping it will hit the mark. American troops will get the much appreciated help, which is equal to skilled level of craftsmanship, in the form of self-guided bullets.

Sandia National Laboratories and the United States military have been working together to develop the ultimate “smart bullet”, and now a successful prototype of the bullet has been created and tested at distances of over a mile.

According to Sandia, unguided bullets under real-world conditions could miss a target more than a half mile away by 9.8 yards, but a guided bullet would get within eight inches.

Sandia’s new technology features a dart-like “smart bullet” that allows for unprecedented movement while in flight. The most important of the smart bullets’ abilities is the way in which the guided rounds can actually self correct its navigational path 30 times a second and at the same time traveling at the speed of sound.

We have a very promising technology to guide small projectiles that could be fully developed inexpensively and rapidly, said Sandia researcher Red Jones.

Most bullets shot from rifles, which have grooves, or rifling, that cause them to spin so they fly straight, like a long football pass, Jones says. To enable a bullet to turn in flight toward a target and to simplify the design, the spin had to go.

The technology was meant for larger caliber guns, it can come to sniper rifles and small caliber guns as well.

Sandia’s new technology can be made use of not only by the military, but by law enforcement agencies and perhaps even the recreational shooters.

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