US engineers create self-guided bullet

2012-02-01 22:36

Albuquerque - 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 1.6km away, a lab announced on Tuesday.

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.

"We've tested gunpowders to see if we can get muzzle velocity for military interest," Jones told KRQE-TV.

Testing has shown the bullet can reach speeds of 730m/s. Researchers said they were confident the bullet could reach standard military speeds using customised gunpowder.

Computer simulations showed an unguided bullet under real-world conditions could miss a target more than 800m away. But according to the patent, a guided bullet would get within 20cm.

Sandia Labs said the design for the bullet includes an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that command electromagnetic actuators. These actuators steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target.

Sandia Labs is seeking a private company partner to complete testing of the prototype and bring a guided bullet to the marketplace. Research and development grants have taken the project this far.

Sandia Labs said potential customers for the bullet could include the military, law enforcement and recreational shooters.

  • Boom - 2012-02-01 22:58


  • mario.dippenaar - 2012-02-02 00:59

    Aimbot hax in real life?

      Sinjoku - 2012-02-02 07:30

      LMAO I guess COD MW4 will now have to apply this tech type as standard ammo :P

  • timelord - 2012-02-02 02:57

    no use in running mr talliban , you will just die die tired ...

  • George - 2012-02-02 05:38

    They will ship them to israel to enhance the occupation and to finish off the palestinians.

  • Warmonger - 2012-02-02 06:50

    Can you imagine me sitting on my stoep and firing one off into the air with mal-emma 'programmed' in? Now THAT would be cool... Sign me up for a whole case!!!!

  • Treatwell Trey - 2012-02-02 08:04

    Great another killing tool, just what the world needs :(

  • lindz.kok - 2012-02-02 08:07

    very impresive!!!! peobly european scientist inroled by the us tho like all theyre weapon experts, e.g. albert einstein-atomic bomb. either way a good day for zionists

  • Zion - 2012-02-02 08:07

    Imagine a crate of these bullets being shot off in a war. Imagine the manufacturing costs to produce this stuff. Imagine a mortar to replace the whole crate of expensive bullets. Not the yanks. Imagine a cricket or rugby ball with this ability.

  • EttieneC - 2012-02-02 08:31

    There goes all honor in marksmanship... Lame.

  • Pieter - 2012-02-02 08:51

    WTF - Wow That's Fantastic

  • jeremy002 - 2012-02-02 09:57

    Only the enthusiasts that belong to black powder and muzzle loading clubs use gunpowder.

  • Johann - 2012-02-02 15:33

    I wonder if the can hit a target round a 90 degree target ??... Put the corner back.. :)

  • Andries - 2012-02-02 18:57

    Even though one would like to have a few of these (if they worked properly) with a few well known names on them, it is a nonsense project. It can do 30 calculations per second which is WAY too slow. And it only travels at 730m/sec when it leaves the barrel and from then on slows down more! Even old .303 rifles are faster than that. And it only has a 20 cm accuracy? At 800 meters and with a little crosswind of only 10kts the bullet drifts more than a meter at that distance. Go back to the drawing board, chaps, but first use your brains and think. Only missiles with fins and self propulsion can be guided. Better to give soldiers shooting practice and not let them believe they can fire off into the feneral direction and kill all the enemy. Target designation is another issue when not under laboratory conditions on a stationary toy soldier. Trying to bring computer games' virtual reality into the real world of actual war.

  • Zion - 2012-02-03 09:04

    This little job must have some or other steering mechanism. Assume it is happily in flight and has to steer to remain on target and some little glitch arises due to dust, say, and the steering mechanism cannot return to neutral. The bullet itself is rotating on its central axis and now it will rotate in circles over its horizontal plane still move forward and spiral horizontally until it bites the dust short of the target. How far is it still to 1st April.?

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