DARPA’s Exacto Guided Bullet Makes Progress

DARPA’s program to make a guided large-caliber round has met with some initial success. The video below demonstrates the technology which, while in its infancy, looks very promising:

Time Magazine has a short article on the new round:

The U.S. military has developed a self-steering bullet that can change direction midair to hit a moving target, and now you can see it in action.

The Department of Defense’s research agency, DARPA, releasedfootage on Monday showing the bullet, after completing a prototype in February, as part of DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program. Footage posted to DARPA’s official YouTube channel shows live-fire tests by an expert sniper and a first-time sniper. In both cases, the bullet course corrects in midair, speeding toward a target even if it’s not centered in the crosshairs. An optical guidance system enables the bullet to compensate for weather, wind and other factors that might push it off course.

DARPA hailed the results as the “most successful” live-fire test of the technology to date.

New technologies such as EXACTO and Tracking Point will benefit special operations first, but eventually the technology will become cheaper and it will trickle down and become more widespread.

CNN also covered the EXACTO project with a short video segment embedded in an article on their website.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Kitsuneki


    • M.M.D.C.

      Vonnegut’s Player Piano and John Henry come to mind.

      It’s a big step, but it’s just one of many in the march to mechanization.

      If you really want to see some scary tech check out Boston Dynamic’s bipedal robots. Skynet anyone?

      • Kitsuneki

        i can’t get purpose of your reply

        • Phillip

          Well it isn’t going to be Baltimore

      • john huscio

        The big dogs are scary enough……wonder who will be the first police department/federal agency to put one of those things in action…..

        • Cleophus

          … to kill an American Citizen without due process of law because the current dictator had decreed he has that right……..

    • LCON

      If you aint cheating you aint trying. As a rule you don’t go into a fight unless you feel you can win it

      • Anthony “stalker6recon”

        Feel? I don’t like feelings, I like overwhelming firepower, where I know it is my fight to lose.

        Just my thoughts on fighting feelings. Win, and win big!

  • Hokum

    I think the next step would be adding additional thrust charges (engines) to the bullet itself. They will ignite while the bullet flies, prolonging the distance and accuracy and keeping the rifle and recoil light in the same time.

    • patrickiv

      So…a rocket?

      • Hokum

        Kind of… yes.

  • micmac80

    Enter 1K$ bullets to do a job of a 3$ Round

  • A.g.

    Nice. So now, let someone build a kind of bullet catcher with false laser designator…

    Otherwise I can stop thinking that’s a fake program as star wars program during Reagan era.

  • patrickiv

    I want to know how big this bullet is. I mean, if it’s the size of a small rocket then that’s not very impressive.

    • LCON

      General specs are of a .50 BMG like that fired by the M107.

      • Anthony “stalker6recon”

        When I was active duty as a Cavalry Scout, we had the snipers attached to our platoon. I had an invite to the range with them, and the M107, my direct command wouldn’t allow me to go, they had other more important things for me to do, like fire watch or some crap.

        Still pissed to this day, never had another opportunity before I was discharged. It burns, it really really burns!

  • Herr Wolf

    yeah, sure

  • Jeff Heeszel

    Dude is using an aimbot. Notifiy the admin to globally ban him.

  • Anthony “stalker6recon”

    That is some serious hurt being fired there. This is going to be a game changer if it ever goes operational. God forbid this ever ends up in the wrong hands. Want to change a regime……….. Say hello to this beast.

    Didn’t see what caliber round this is, would like to know the range of the shots, and size of the round being fired. Is it adaptable too current weapon systems, can it be retro-fitted to the Ma’deuce?