US engineers unveil laser-guided bullet that can hit target a mile away | Science | guardian.co.uk

Engineers in the US have invented a bullet that directs itself to a target like a tiny guided missile and can hit a target more than a mile away.

According to Sandia National Laboratories engineers, the bullet twists and turns to guide itself toward a laser-directed point. It can make up to thirty corrections per second while in the air, officials said.

Sandia technical staff member Jim Jones said he thinks the .50-calibre bullets would work well with military machine guns, so soldiers could hit their mark faster and with precision.

via US engineers unveil laser-guided bullet that can hit target a mile away | Science | guardian.co.uk.

It’s pretty fascinating that they’ve managed to shrink laser guidance down to such a small level.

And I can see some niche applications for this in the future.

But realistically, for a .50cal machine gun today, the real limit on its ability to actually hit a target isn’t the accuracy of the gun, or even the gunner. The real trouble is actually being able to see the target. Spotting an enemy at half a mile, when he’s hiding behind a rock or bush or whatnot, is a very challenging task. ┬áBut if you can locate that enemy, killing him becomes a simple matter.

1 thought on “US engineers unveil laser-guided bullet that can hit target a mile away | Science | guardian.co.uk”

  1. The additional point, and what this bullet will enable, is the killing of that target with a couple rounds vice half a box. Recall that M2s tend to jump around a bit, and you have to burst-on-target to aim them. In other words, a whole lot of API-T rounds go flying all over the place, in addition to the intended target. Tongue in cheek, I claim that my scout platoon was responsible for Sadr City becoming the nightmare it was because back in May or June of ’03, one truck emptied a 100-round box on a target, only about ten of which actually hit (and burned out) the vehicle target, while the remainder flew over the highway and into Sadr City. Every one of them hit…something.

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