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DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

Soulskill posted about a month and a half ago | from the jerks-with-aim-bots dept.

The Military 188

Lucas123 writes: A DARPA-funded project has successfully developed a .50 caliber sniper round capable of maneuvering during flight in order to remain on target. The self-guiding EXACTO bullet, as it's being called, is optically guided by a laser that must remain on target for the bullet to track. The EXACTO round is capable of accurately tracking a target up to 1.2 miles away, DARPA stated. The technology, which is being developed by Teledyne Scientific and Imaging, is targeted at helping snipers remain at longer distances from targets as well as improving night shots. While DARPA's tracking bullet is the first to use a standard, small-arms caliber round, in 2012 Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) successfully demonstrated a prototype self-guided bullet that was more like like a four-inch dart.

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No fair (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434175)

Cheaters! Who's the admin? We need to ban those losers.

Re:No fair (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434305)

this guy [fanpop.com] , and he's holding the very gun that DARPA ripped-off...

Re:No fair (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434421)

All these years, all these years to duplicate the exact same 60s tech that was used in the crazy bullet that killed JFK.

Or something.

Re:No fair (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435345)

JFK shot himself, so the bullet didn't have to travel very far.

Runaway! (1)

F34nor (321515) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434179)

Re:Runaway! (1)

jimmifett (2434568) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434251)

I loved that movie as a kid!

I should dig out some old DIY robot kits....

Re:Runaway! (1)

F34nor (321515) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434341)

Please don't fill them with acid, it is a clear violation of the three laws of robotics.

Re:Runaway! (1)

DriveDog (822962) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434545)

Yep. I was just thinking of how convincing a villain was Gene Simmons.

Re: Runaway! (1)

Anthony Munoz (3685103) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435603)

Yes!! Hilarious role for Gene Simmons too

Creepy (2)

Slizzo (3610599) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434207)

A .50cal round shot out of either a M2 machine gun, or M82 or one of it's many variants is scary enough. Now to have a round that can guide itself? Downright creepy.

Re:Creepy (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434267)

An automatic grenade launcher (aka grenade machine gun) was one of the most awesome/fun things to use back in the day. Having one with self-guided shells would be joygastic.

Re:Creepy (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434445)

You shouldn't even need that with grenades, as they don't exactly require a precise hit. Precise airburst (within, say, within a feet along the trajectory) is probably a better and cheaper options for those, the way that XM25 CDTE does it. Among other things, no mechanical parts should be required.

Re:Creepy (1, Interesting)

harrkev (623093) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434329)

Actually, this should not be scary at all! You just need to figure out the frequency and modulation of the laser used. Then, just make sure that you have such a laser pointed at the guy beside you. You are suddenly safe from snipers! Just make sure that you do not like the guy beside you.

Seriously, the only way this could be spoof-proof is to modulate the laser with some type of crypto.

Re:Creepy (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434433)

Seriously, the only way this could be spoof-proof is to modulate the laser with some type of crypto.

In practice, by the time you realize that a sniper was targeting you, it is too late to start spoofing.

Re:Creepy (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434483)

Seriously, the only way this could be spoof-proof is to modulate the laser with some type of crypto.

In practice, by the time you realize that a sniper was targeting you, it is too late to start spoofing.

Which is why you should do it all the time.

Hey, maybe this is why everyone in "futuristic" movies walks around in full-body tinfoil...

Re:Creepy (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434501)

I think the point is that important figures could have several "dummy" lasers present at all times to fool the bullet into going elsewhere. It would act similar to any other frequency jammer.

Re:Creepy (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434675)

It would probably be easier to have a couple cameras capable of seeing infrared and ultraviolet. You will see the laser on target and can just remove yourself from the area before the trigger is pulled.

Re:Creepy (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435205)

It would probably be easier to have a couple cameras capable of seeing infrared and ultraviolet. You will see the laser on target and can just remove yourself from the area before the trigger is pulled.

An obvious countermeasure would be to have the laser turn on only when the trigger is pulled. With a velocity of about a km per sec, the bullet won't give you much time to "remove yourself from the area".

But all these silly scenarios about "always on" spoofing, and arrays of cameras, are not realistic. Most of America's likely adversaries are not sophisticated. The likely target of this weapon is going to be some impoverished kid wiring up a dud mortar round as an IED by the side of the road.

Re:Creepy (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435313)

You are probably correct.

However, you would think that the laser would need to be sighted separate from the gun. In order to compensate for gravity, the barrel of the gun is usually lifted so the trajectory is an arch of sorts rather than a straight line. A laser on the other hand, while also suffering from gravity, will not be near as much or even notifiable. This isn't a problem with handguns because the range they are used in is so close that gravity doesn't take hold. Long shots will require a lot of compensation.

Perhaps there is also a method of pre-aiming the so it is as accurate as the sights on the riffle.

Re:Creepy (2)

harrkev (623093) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434677)

You got it. Lasers are cheap... electronics are cheap... batteries are cheap... spoofing is cheap.

Really, as an engineer, I can imagine two ways for this thing to work, and it depends on if the projectile spins. Typically, bullets spin so that they act as gyroscopes -- always pointing the same direction (YouTube has videos of guys firing pistols into ice -- ice stops bullet which just sits there and spins like a top).

If the projectile spins, you can, in theory, guide it with a single fin that can extend or retract. You could not use a standard camera as such, because you are spinning wildly. Assume 2000 FPS bullets -- if you want to shoot a mile, you need at least this much. Also assume a 1-in-12 twist (real twists are in the range of 1-in-7 to 1-in-14, depending on shape and weights of bullet). That means that the bullet is spinning with a approximate rotation of 2 KHz. I doubt that you could have an effective regular camera spinning like that and still work. A better way would be to have a linear sensor (a line camera) that looks forward and to the side. This could operate. When you see a bright stop, see how far it is from the center. More off-center = kick your fin a bit more. This is simple and straightforward. However, since the bullet is spinning and you do not know when the camera will cross the laser, you probably need to keep the laser on full time. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to accomplish this, but should be easily spoofed. You could maybe put a crypto on the laser signal by changing the intensity of the signal without turning it off, but it would have to be a much lower frequency than 2 KHz because that is your effective sample rate. If you assume 500 Hz signal (four-times oversampling), you would only get about 500 bits of data before you hit your target (assuming a target 2000 feet away). Is that enough to actually apply crypto? I am not sure...

On the other hand, if the bullet is NOT spinning, you can use a regular camera and regular fins to control it. In that case, it is entirely reasonable to embed some sort of cryptographic modulation on the signal. In any case, the existence of a 2-D sensor makes the bullet more expensive, and increases the amount of processing that needs to be done. It should, however, be more feasible to put crypto, but at greater cost.

Re:Creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434869)

All you need is some guys with a $25 pressure cooker and $10 black powder. Make them blow up lots of Americans and then the PORK will flow. $90000 bullets will just be cheap enough.

Signed

John McMic
CEO General Killware Inc.

Re:Creepy (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434697)

I think the point is that important figures could have several "dummy" lasers present at all times to fool the bullet into going elsewhere.

Then target the "dummy" lasers with an area weapon, such as a cluster bomb.

It would act similar to any other frequency jammer.

"Always on" jammers tend to have very short lifetimes on the modern battlefield.

Re:Creepy (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434689)

Apparently you haven't seen Kim Jon Un's laser disco ball.

Re:Creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434557)

Rotating disco balls: the countermeasure a true fighter can rely on when it raining bullets, hallelujah!

Re:Creepy (1)

andydread (758754) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435423)

The problem with this is that a simple laser detection kit will now warn you that a sniper is training a laser on you.

The Fifth Element comes to mind (1)

djhaskin987 (2147470) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434215)

It's not a machine gun that shots at people behind you, but still.

Re:The Fifth Element comes to mind (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434225)

Actually HMG's where used and can still be used as indirect fire weapons.

Re:The Fifth Element comes to mind (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434263)

Is there a big red button?

Re:The Fifth Element comes to mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434295)

Made me think of the cartoon bullets in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Re:The Fifth Element comes to mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434555)

Made me think of the cartoon bullets in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Dum Dums [youtube.com] [12 seconds]

Alternate use for this technology (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434245)

Imagine a round that *avoids* a target. No more friendly fire!

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434271)

That would require some target-identification, while this is just target-tracking. You point at a target and shoot, and the system makes sure the target is hit. Now it could avoid any target you try to shoot at, but that would be a bit silly: a good way to make sure all your bullets miss is to just not fire them!

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

neiras (723124) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434297)

Imagine a round that *avoids* a target. No more friendly fire!

Neat idea!

On the other hand, someone will probably develop "dazzlers" that send guided bullets off course.

Imagine - bank robber keeps lasers pointed at his hostages and dares the cops to take the shot.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434587)

...and gets promptly taken down by a dumb old bullet.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434331)

Rest assured that a hack is already in the making.

I don't get the US. I mean, by now you should have noticed that the bigger and more complicated the technology, the more you play into your opponent's hands. First of all, you're using high tech weapons in a low tech war. You can't really fire any round anymore that doesn't cost you more than what your target cost your enemy. Welcome to asymmetric warfare. I don't know why I have to say it, I thought it's obvious: You're essentially in the unfunny situation the British were in when you had your fight for independence. And on top of it you also have to pose as the good guy, you can't even simply level the land and bury what's living under the rubble.

In basically all the wars the US had gotten into lately, they had the superior technology and the inferior position. Let's look at the stats. The US is fighting an enemy who not only doesn't give half a shit about collateral damage (the US at least have to pretend they care, so they can't use the aforementioned "scorched earth" tactics), an enemy that does not identify itself as such (so pretty much anyone and everyone could be hostile), while at the same time those that are NOT hostile may not be touched (since the US want to be the "good" guy and the backlash is considerable when something surfaces). And unlike the average US soldier, the enemy doesn't even give a shit whether he survives the war.

That's not a position from which you can win a war. The US loses unless they win, their enemy wins as long as they don't lose. That cannot be won in a scenario where your enemy is in a position where it does not matter to him how many resources he loses as long as he can inflict damage on you.

Precision bombing and precision shooting is a fine thing if you have a target. That's the main problem the US is facing today. It's trivial for them to eliminate any target anywhere on the planet. The problem is FINDING it.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (3, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434367)

I don't get the US. I mean, by now you should have noticed that the bigger and more complicated the technology, the more you play into your opponent's hands. First of all, you're using high tech weapons in a low tech war. You can't really fire any round anymore that doesn't cost you more than what your target cost your enemy.

Off topic, I admit, but this reminds me of the current Isreal/Hamaas conflict. Just launch simple, dumb, and cheap unguided rockets from the Gaza Strip. Isreal has an "Iron Dome" defense system that is supposedly pretty effective at stopping them -- at $1,000,000 per shot. Great way to bankrupt an enemy...

Re:Alternate use for this technology (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434453)

That's the key in asymmetric warfare. Basically what you need is:

- An expendable population that is not only willing to fight but also to die for you, your goal, your god, whatever.
- Cheap weapons (manpower is no issue, people are cheap)
- And enemy who doesn't have the two above.

If you can muster that, you have won. There is no way short of total annihilation that you could possibly lose.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434593)

It ought to be possible to possible to engage with cheap smart weapons against such enemy. E.g., taking out people with Hellfires from drones seems incredibly costly when a precision barrel weapon could do the same job, especially using a gun computer.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434787)

It already starts at you having to get that weapon platform to the point where you can fire it. You have to build the weapon platform, you have to build the targeting computer, and then you have to move that all to where you want to employ it. And all that to (hopefully) hit a person who may or may not be still there when you get there and who may or may not be an actual target for you.

In turn, your enemy just needs to send a suicide jockey to your well known base and blow up the checkpoint at the entrance. Even if you kill the first 9 guys it doesn't matter as long as the 10th makes it.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434933)

Regarding the first, I simply meant that there's no reason to use *mismatched* smart weapons, which are ridiculously expensive. Regarding the second, well, that seems to be a problem with the area security. Can't we use, e.g., milliwave imagers to detect people with suspicious things under their clothes already from a distance?

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435157)

You could simply shoot whoever comes closer than the "stop and don't come closer or be shot" signs.

KISS, not everything needs a technical solution.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434823)

The Palestinians are in no way winning against the Israelis. The Israelis have been relentlessly, incrementally increasing their territory for close to a century while bulldozing and fencing the Palestinians into ghettos where the Israelis periodically destroy their basic infrastructure (water plants!) while controlling the Palestinian borders.

The Israelis have caged a bunch of humans, tortured them to the brink of insanity, then played the victim when the result is that their victims behave like animals.

It's a sick joke. I'm tired of it, but it started long ago and will not end any time soon.

The big question is... why does the US support them? Because the Israelis have nukes (that they were given/stolen from the US). The next big question is... where are those nukes? I assume they must be in major US cities. Why else support a country that pisses off all of its neighbors and essentially has zero resources and behaves in a hypocritically fascist manner?

Not that I support the other countries/religions/philosophies in the region... they're all a bunch a backward-ass tribes with grudges going back thousands of years. Filial/religious/national loyalty is a stupid thing to have when it compromises your quality of life... but that's what middle-easterners seem to do... at least enough of them to make a negative difference anyway.

Why can't we all just get along?

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435229)

"The Israelis have caged a bunch of humans"

Bullshit. Take a look at a map. You notice there's a country bordering Gaza called Egypt? The Israelis are stopping them from going to and from Egypt? Looks like a pretty leaky cage.

And he's a clue for you.......if "Palestinian" Muslims don't want to be be treated like animals, maybe they ought to stop acting like animals.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47435429)

Israelis control the Egyptian border. They only recently pulled out of Sinai.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434455)

Isreal has an "Iron Dome" defense system that is supposedly pretty effective at stopping them -- at $1,000,000 per shot. Great way to bankrupt an enemy...

No problem. Israel can just borrow more money from the American taxpayers.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (4, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434529)

Actually, it's something like $50k-$70k per shot, not $1M, and it can automatically scratch out those projectiles heading into uninhabited areas from its target list. And whenever it destroys a projectile heading for a building or some inhabited place, it not only saves lives but it also quite often saves more money than it costs (the building and infrastructure rebuilds can be costlier than the interceptors), so it really can be a cost-effective solution under the circumstances.

Coming up (if successful): Iron Beam, the fiber-laser-powered interceptor with even better operating costs.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47435675)

And the US taxpayer paid for it anyway, so why would the Israelies give a shit about what it costs? They can just keep milking the USA for more money...

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435687)

The US are interested in technology transfer, if I'm not mistaken. It's not a bad thing for the US to outsource R&D into places where you can actually test stuff.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

Flyskippy1 (625890) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434565)

I seem to recall reading that the Iron Dome missiles were in the thousands of dollars per shot range, though with several sent after every target rocket. They only try to shoot down incoming rockets that will actually hit an occupied area, though.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434899)

Something like this technology might be useful to supplement Iron Dome - think something like a CIWS with guided bullets to improve the hit rate as the final line around populated areas. Just make sure it's pointing AWAY from the people!

I'd imagine the sort of rockets being fired at Israel wouldn't stand up well to hits from a 50cal, and the cost per shot would probably be a lot less.

The question is, since you have to lase the target anyway, would it be any more cost-effective than the Iron Beam system they're developing? Where you don't have to worry so much about stray impacts (although I guess there's the blinding risk).

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435203)

They're already going to use lasers for that.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435683)

Great way to bankrupt an enemy...

Israel's defense budget, and a good chunk of Iron Dome in particular, is funded by the US taxpayer as a kickback scheme to funnel more money to US weaponry manufacturers. Israel only benefits when they have an excuse to fire their guns every once in a while since it keeps Congress from questioning why we give them so many billions in the name of "peace". 1984-style perpetual war is great for business.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (4, Interesting)

F34nor (321515) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434379)

You are obviously not part of the military industrial complex! Fuck effective go expensive every time. For the price of one nuclear carrier we could have 50 diesel carrier groups with planes. I know professor that showed that for the price of 1 F14 you could equip a squadron of DeHavalin mosquitoes with Phoenix missiles. Stealth because they are made out of wood and 50 guided missiles will ace any fighter pilot in the sky.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434463)

No, I'm not part of the military industrial complex.

I intend to win my wars. Not just get rich off them.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434535)

50 diesel carrier groups? I find that a bit hard to believe. That much metal and work is expensive regardless of nuclear power. Nuclear power also has the advantage of needing less fuel - you only need to carry stuff for the planes to use.

What would the range be on those wooden planes? What's your pilot survival rate?

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434539)

I'm not sure the US military would want to rely on strategic materials being sourced from Ecuador...

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

alvinrod (889928) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434521)

It's getting cheaper than ever before, not more expensive and the asymmetry is narrowing. Before we had to fire a cruise missile, now we're using drone strikes. A laser guided bullet that can be fired from almost 2 miles away that does even less collateral damage is even cheaper to use both in terms of material cost and politically when there aren't any innocent civilian casualties.

Finding the target isn't going to be any more difficult. Imagine when something like Google Glass becomes ubiquitous and the government is spying on more than just phone calls. Even without that, it's not too difficult to imagine fleets of drones being used for surveillance, maybe even themselves being capable of painting a target once they find one.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434627)

Never in the history of the planet has "winning a war" been so obtusely defined. A US soldier is more likely to commit suicide than be killed by an enemy. Our attrition levels are so ridiculously low that, in many cases, the soldiers are safer in Afghanistan than in the cities they were born in! In Iraq and Afghanistan, the ruling parties were deposed in short order. "Winning a war" doesn't mean "And nobody bad will ever live in that country ever again!" -- that's ridiculous. The US isn't at war. It won the wars. What's left is "reconstruction" which, if it wasn't an eternal struggle, we wouldn't have policemen in the United States. Do we have policemen on our streets? Yes. Therefore, there will always need to be "policemen" set up in countries where we don't want specific shit to go down.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434739)

Well, it just MIGHT work to give people a reason not to hate the US and instead turn towards the shit that you don't want to go down. It worked like a charm after WW2, didn't it?

The cheapest way to retain the order that you want somewhere is to give the people there a reason to want it, too. That works great if you can show them the benefit of your way of life. Of course, that first of all requires that your way of life must have some benefit for them, though...

Re:Alternate use for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434761)

In some important ways, you're mistaken. In order for you to be correct, you have to include in your definition of winning, the nation-building that USA attempts to do in order to clean up afterwards. If USA decided that everyone in an opposing country was evil, bombing all their infrastructure into the stone age and then just going away afterwards would be a simple matter. When the other country can't (as a country) attack USA, and USA can still continue to attack the other country, that's a win from a warfare standpoint. The thing USA is doing poorly isn't warfare, it's more like policing in other countries using the devices of warfare, and like you say, it's stupid.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435111)

I don't know about US, but some other countries have noticed the pattern and revived some old designs. For example, apparently, turboprop bomber/assault aircraft are nearly perfect for "anti-insurgency" type of combat missions as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan - cheap, rugged, easy to operate, can take off and land from small and poorly maintained airstrips... and still more than capable of delivering death in droves from the sky while remaining effectively untouched.

US itself has AC-130, which, I suppose, kinda fits that role as well, even if it wasn't originally designed for it.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435283)

I don't get the US. I mean, by now you should have noticed that the bigger and more complicated the technology, the more you play into your opponent's hands.

I don't think your comment applies in this case. Replace the UAV shooting a missile with a guy sitting a mile away and picking off your guys with a rifle. Cost effective and terrifying.

Re:Alternate use for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47435565)

You don't get the technology, it effectively allows you to fire from point blank range while being a long distance away, therefore the target is not protected by moving unpredictably.

Drone Strikes w/out Collateral Damage (1)

Thruen (753567) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435095)

This was my first thought as well. I feel like UAVs in particular from this technology, they could designate several targets from the sky and fire a few rounds, taking out the targets with no collateral damage. It could help save soldiers' lives as well, imagine them being able to designate targets from behind cover and shoot without revealing more than their hands. The potential really is limitless, hopefully this technology can be applied to less specialized uses than long-range sniping. Imagine computer-assisted targeting for police so they can target an assailant's weapon instead of killing them in a situation that might normally end with a death.

But, it'll probably end up only being used to kill more effectively.

I don't think I like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434265)

Probably natural enough to try and develop one. Not so great to unleash it on the world. And that the announcement already does, simply by making clear it can be done. Anyway, the USA is still charging blindly ahead completely oblivious to the damage it does, so common sense is simply not to be had anywhere its tentacles reach.

Re:I don't think I like this (2)

preaction (1526109) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434313)

That's the fun problem with an arms race: If you don't race, you lose. If you do race, you still lose.

Re:I don't think I like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434361)

If you do race, you still lose.

Lose what? There are naught but contrived downsides to fielding the most powerful military on the planet.

Re:I don't think I like this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434435)

Yeah, creating a weapon that further lowers the already historically-low amount of collateral damage that an army produces is such a terrifying idea! Now it's going to be even MORE difficult to hit women and children on accident when aiming at badguys! Who is going to stand accountable for all this non-bloodshed? Won't someone think of the hostage-takers and human-shield users for once!? Now they're just ASKING to have someone split their head like a grape!

A bit terrifying (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434289)

That's pretty scary to be honest, especially given the range. A sniper squad could very effective with quick extraction available.

I wonder if the system supports a remote spotter (fire in general direction, bullet waits to find it's tracking laser at the remote point, the bullet would have to be able to handle dramatically different angles, and know where the spotter is I would think), someone closer in could more easily track movement or switch targets on the fly.

It's cool though, that's for sure. They don't mention it, but I wonder what the specs on the optics are.

only have two seconds (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434461)

>. bullet waits to find it's tracking laser at the remote point, the bullet would have to be able to handle dramatically different angles, and know where the spotter is I would think), someone closer in could more easily track movement or switch targets on the fly.

That sounds more like a job for a drone loitering overhead. A .50 round will be in the air for less than two seconds.

Lets test this in Syria (1)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434351)

Lets test this in Syria and North Korea.

and while millions starve (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434353)

and while millions starve we just need to make sure we can have another way to kill arabs

9/11 was an inside job, never forget

What about helicopters? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434373)

If so, that makes living here in Seattle even more dangerous. There are a lot of white trash Republicans here that take pot shots at helicopters. Last Saturday, I saw at least half a dozen of the brightly coloured little training ones flying around, and I heard about a dozen gun shots. I'm sure the Republicans fired even more times than that because I'm sure I couldn't hear all of them due to distance or the fact I was in an office. If these bullets are self-guiding to to helicopters then there's going to be dozens of them crashing onto the streets of Seattle. We've already had one crash onto a major road here this year. The Republicans were happy about that because it was a progressive TV station that had their employees die. The Republicans made nasty statements about the event.

Re:What about helicopters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434905)

Yeah, the world would be a better place if Democrat's NKVD* drones were controlling a disarmed, helpless population.

* New Kansas Vulture Dominators

Re:What about helicopters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47435237)

... last Saturday was the 5th of July. Probably just people finishing off their fireworks stash.

satalites (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434387)

And the real end-goal... armed satellites. Put one up with a couple of thousand rounds and you'd only need drones to take out heavy armor. Basically anyone not in a bunker would become an easy target.

Re:satalites (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434527)

Basically anyone not in a bunker would become an easy target.

You say that... [wikipedia.org]

Re:satalites (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434725)

I prefer this one. [youtube.com]

One please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434397)

I need this in BF4 immediately. I can't aim for shit.

The company that makes water piks... (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434413)

So teledyne will be able to use this technology to improve their water pics!

We are winning! (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434485)

There is no question it is an amazing technology. As an engineer I can only say, wow!.

But as a taxpayer ...

And each bullet costs just two times the GDP of the entire village the terrorist is hailing from! And we will make up for it in volume too!

Some times I wonder if it would be cheaper to feed, cloth, provide healthcare and house all the Afghans than what we spent on military over there. Afghanistan hardly has 30 million people. Per capita income is 500$ a year. Just 15 billion dollars total. We spent 1 trillion dollars in the war over there. Our government is borrowing at historically low rate, 10 year t-bills go at 2.5%, the interest charges on that debt alone is 25 billion dollars a year!

I don't know if it would have worked. But the idea goes like, take a large well defended perimeter. Free food, clothing, hospitals and homes inside. Let people in after disarming them. Expand the area as more and more people move in. We might be able to take in 90% of the population inside, standing obediently at the breadline and the hospital waiting rooms. I don't know. May be an idiot slashdot keyboard warrior.

Re:We are winning! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434525)

Its cheaper, but less effective.

American "soft power" has been used across the world for decade and the sad truth is, in some places, it just doesn't work (in some places, it works fantastically). Even if you feed them, cloth them, house them and provide free healthcare, its not good enough. Some of them, they want jobs. Some of them, they want power. Some of them, they want to get the fuck out because they can't see themselves making a life for themselves there.

Re:We are winning! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434955)

What a load of condescending shit. If you Americans simply had taken out the bad apples and left, this would have been a minimal affair. Instead the Gleichgeschaltete Propaganda of the American Imperium told people that "now we have to build schools, and hospitals and and and".

In reality, it was about the business of the war industry. The Afghans know who to police themselves and they simply don't want your hospitals. Because these come nicely packaged with an Edgar J. Hoover Secret Police. People who will spit into your face and then simulate either your drowning or your electrocution. They call this "civilization".

Fuck yeah. Afghans love freedom and kicked you out.

Re:We are winning! (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435135)

If you Americans simply had taken out the bad apples and left, this would have been a minimal affair. Instead the Gleichgeschaltete Propaganda of the American Imperium told people that "now we have to build schools, and hospitals and and and".

If you don't build schools, the "bad apples" will be back in less than a generation. In a society that's so fucked up, people will inevitably turn to radical ideologies that blame all their troubles on external enemies.

Re:We are winning! (2)

DrJimbo (594231) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435257)

In a society that's so fucked up, people will inevitably turn to radical ideologies that blame all their troubles on external enemies.

So true.

Re:We are winning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47435385)

They're not radical ideologies-- they're innate ideologies.

"My family is the best". "My town is the best". "My tribe is the best".

It's bullshit. The best is the best. Fuck your family and your town and your tribe.

I met an Iranian woman last year who extolled the US as being so welcoming. She said in Iran, if you go to the next town, you have to fake an accent or risk repercussions. That doesn't happen so much here. It's the "new world". Yes, I realize it's only new because most of the old people were unfortunately killed off; but it's the right way to deal with people. People are people. There is the law. everyone is (mostly) equal.

Tribes and towns and religions... antiquated. Bury it.

Yes, we still need to deal with the rich vs poor problem, but at least the "who you are" is largely (by no means completely) dealt with in the US.

Re:We are winning! (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434637)

And each bullet costs just two times the GDP of the entire village the terrorist is hailing from!

Each bullet creates two more "terrorists", or "freedom fighters" as they were known back in the 80s when they were our friends.

The best thing to do is provide aid from a distance, but otherwise don't get involved. No troops, no arming one side or the other, just food and medicine. The Islamists were losing until we destabilized those countries to the point where they could start winning.

Re:We are winning! (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434843)

Each bullet creates two more "terrorists",

Not quite. Getting blown in half by a .50 round isn't exactly the best recruiting platform. Especially if they can't even spin it as a brave sacrifice facing the evil infidels/Zionists/whatevers. A bullet hitting from a mile away with no warning whatsoever is a very demoralizing thing. Terrorists actually would hate technology such as this because it is more accurate and reduces the chance of collateral damage. Collateral damage is what they want, because all their potential recruits/supporters see are innocent women and children blown up and dead-not how or why they died, only that they died.

The best thing to do is provide aid from a distance, but otherwise don't get involved. No troops, no arming one side or the other, just food and medicine.

You have to do both: provide both the carrot and the stick. Show people that fighting will only earn them a useless, painful, and messy death while peaceful coexistence means prosperity, safety, and education. You are correct in that food and medicine are important (more important than money because they are harder for government, criminals, or elites to divert) but you need boots on the ground to provide stability and protection for those communities that have embraced peace. These boots on the ground also help by building/repairing roads, schools, and houses. When communities see that working with the goverment and denouncing extremism makes them prosper they are more likely to embrace it as well. Because let's face it: most of the people fighting in the world do so because they have greivances such as lack of educational, economical, or political opportunities. Given the choice, most people would choose those over fighting. You simply have to show them that choice actually exists.

Re:We are winning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434881)

We've spent about 1.2 trillion on both OIF and OEF so there is no way we've spent 1 trillion on just Afghanistan.

Re:We are winning! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47435301)

He was thinking of ObamaCare, but typed Afghanistan.

Re:We are winning! (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434883)

So you believe that what Afghans want is your version of a welfare state, that rather than being left alone they want to be corralled into your personal version of 'free paradise'? Why not just LEAVE THE PEOPLE ALONE and not try to play either occupants or saviours?

We are winning! (1)

kosmosik (654958) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434963)

I am not US taxpayer so I don't give a shit how much such bullet costs. All I know that sometimes the SEALS or other special ops. unit serves to protect civilians. Hard to belive but that is its function. Put aside "the bad terrorists" and just focus on some scenarios in which such weapon would be extremely useful despite its cost... like I don't know... maybe it is some stupid Hollywood style example but - Maersk Alabama incident. AFAIK snipers did excellent job then and if such weapon could help in such situations I like it.

Further Cowardice Encouragement (4, Insightful)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434493)

Or as Roger Waters put it: The Bravery of Being Out of Range.

Shooter reveals his location and a defense (1)

0x537461746943 (781157) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434507)

Put a bunch of laser light sensors into the armys jackets, helmets and pants that would detect a laser light sweeping the person targetted and then immediately respond by shooting the same color laser down toward the ground from the helmet to make the bullet have to guess what the real target is (a bunch of dots preferably). While doing that the direction and location of the shooter could be determined by the sensors so retaliation could be swift. Or in cartoon style just have the sensors automatically make a laser of the same frequence that was detected shine a bunch of dots on the ground and direct the bullet back to the source laser transmission to take out the shooter :).

Re:Shooter reveals his location and a defense (1)

PPH (736903) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434721)

A reflector like one of those disco balls. When illuminated by a laser, it breaks up the beam and illuminates a number of spots on surrounding objects. Passive defense. No sensors/electronics required.

Re:Shooter reveals his location and a defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47434799)

Where I come from, we have laser to kill the retina of the fucker who points a laser at us.

smoothbore .50 cal longarm? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434579)

Hmmmm, if it has guidance in the bullet, does that mean you need to fire it out of a smoothbore barrel?

Also, where is the computer assisted laser pointer?

This one is pretty interesting and you can own it (1)

trout007 (975317) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434847)

This system isn't guided but you can preselect your target and enable the rifle.
When you aim where the computer predicts impact it will automatically fire.

http://tracking-point.com/prec... [tracking-point.com]

It Doesn't Matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47435501)

It doesn't matter that it works. It matters that the "enemy" believes the kill shot can come from any direction unrelated to the shooter.

These are not self-guiding bullets. (1)

zephvark (1812804) | about a month and a half ago | (#47435697)

I could get tired of these click-bait sensationalized titles. It's clear even in the summary that the bullet is human-guided. Ok, it can redirect itself in flight, that's cool, but that's not remotely what we were told.
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