GUN Pirates Beware: Soon Rifles That Kill from a Mile Away

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by johan, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. johan

    johan Active Member

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    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1891348,00.html

    Pirates Beware: Soon Rifles That Kill from a Mile Away
    By Mark Thompson / Washington

    The three Navy SEAL snipers who killed the pirates off the coast of Somalia last weekend were lucky the buccaneers were gullible enough to allow their lifeboat to be towed farther out to sea by the U.S.S. Bainbridge. The shortened towline turned what could have been a trio of difficult shots across hundreds of yards of ocean into relatively easy 30-yd. pops. It's a safe bet future pirates won't be so naive. But the Pentagon is drawing up a project to make it easier to hit targets at much longer distances: a super-sniper rifle called the EXACTO, short for EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance.

    The highly-classified EXACTO program began a year ago, when the U.S. military's band of scientists and engineers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — which played a key role in the creation of both the Internet and GPS — let the military-industrial complex know it was seeking a supergun. "The ability to more accurately prosecute targets at significantly longer range would provide a dramatic new capability to the U.S. military," DARPA'S solicitation for bids said. "The use of an actively controlled bullet will make it possible to counter environmental effects such as crosswinds and air density, and prosecute both stationary and moving targets while enhancing shooter covertness." (See pictures of dramatic pirate-hostage rescues.)

    The new .50 caliber gun and improved scope could employ "fire and forget" technologies including "fin-stabilized projectiles, spin-stabilized projectiles, internal and/or external aero-actuation control methods, projectile guidance technologies, tamper proofing, small stable power supplies, and advanced sighting, optical resolution and clarity technologies." In other words, bullets that, once fired at a specific target, fly themselves into it by changing shape. The new gun should be no heavier than the combined 46-lb. weight of the current $11,500 M107 sniper rifle and all its associated gear (including ammo, tripod, scope and slide rules for target calculations). (See pictures of the brazen pirates of Somalia.)

    In November, DARPA awarded Lockheed Martin $12.3 million and Teledyne Scientific & Imaging $9.5 million to begin work on the new weapon. If various technical hurdles are cleared, it could be available sometime around 2015.

    DARPA says the Pentagon needs the vastly improved rifle because the use of snipers has ballooned from 250 to 800 annually. The sharpshooters require extensive and expensive training — all of which could be reduced with a better gun. Snipers "are unable to take a shot the vast majority of the time" because of wind or other weather factors, and a lack of confidence in their ability to hit the target or flee if detected. Those shortcomings could be greatly reduced by the new longer-range rifle. How much longer range? "Specific system performance objectives (e.g., range, accuracy and target speed) are classified," the solicitation said. (See pictures of America's gun culture.)

    Army Captain Keith Bell, former commander of the Army sniper school at Fort Benning, Ga., can't wait to get his hands on the new rifle. "The EXACTO would be revolutionary," he says. "It will more than double our range and probably more than double our accuracy." Current sniper rifles can regularly hit trucks at 2,000 meters, but not bad guys. (The record kill is 2,430 meters, just over 1.5 miles. It was charted by Canadian army corporal Rob Furlong against a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan's Shah-i-kot valley during Operation Anaconda in March 2002 — but his first two shots missed.) "There's no limit as far as I can see so long as the bullet's stable — I think 2,000 or 2,500 meters is very attainable," Bell says.

    "Right now, anything past around 800 meters is an extremely tough shot," he added during a satellite telephone interview from Mosul, Iraq. "But this EXACTO will take the effects of wind, elevation and humidity all out of play." Bell spends his days training Iraqis as snipers and for other elements of the martial arts. Did he hear about what the Navy snipers did on Sunday? "Sure did," he said. "I'm jealous as hell."
     
  2. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    That kinda takes the fun out of being a sniper. :hs:
     
  3. TATEROTE

    TATEROTE OT Supporter

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    in the year 2000
     
  4. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    They have nothing to worry about, Teledyne is involved in the development. We have an instrument at work made by Teledyne meant to detect mercury, except the damn thing cannot even complete a single run of samples, so in this gun you will load the ammo and chamber the round and the bullet will simply stop in the middle of the barrel, oh and don't bother calling customer service.
     
  5. s2k

    s2k OT Supporter

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  6. LancerV

    LancerV Something Happened OT Supporter

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    2015? Well have ray guns by than :h5:
     
  7. ZCP M3

    ZCP M3 Active Member

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    No more trig calculations done in the head of Bob Lee Swagger on the fly. :hs:
     
  8. Wave

    Wave Carlos Spicy Weiner

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    I heard mention of this kind of thing on one of those future weapon shows a while back. It was NOT this specific weapon system, but the plan was to use a round with a short wire trailing behind. The wire would only be a few inches long, but could bend "at will", acting like a simple fin. The show talked about using a laser seeker in the bullet head. That was all I ever heard about anything like that until now.
     
  9. jeepilot

    jeepilot Banned

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    you're going to have to come up with some pretty good hardware to make it small enough to fit into a .50 cal bullet, and be able to withstand the G forces involved.

    Money would be better spent on developing miniature rockets that accellerate more and more the longer they fly.
     
  10. This is stupid. A capable marksman can reliably make shots out to a very long range. I am wary of relying on technology to replace fundamental skills.
     
  11. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    i really doubt someone could make a mile shot on the high seas :ugh:
     
  12. dpixel8

    dpixel8 New Member

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    gaaaayyyyyy

    first fucking robots. then fucking drones. why do we even have anyone on the ground? fuck. no wonder my marine cousin is bored out of his mind
     
  13. dpixel8

    dpixel8 New Member

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    are you motherfucking doubting me?
     
  14. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    I would give you $1,000 if you could hit a human sized target and make a kill on choppy waters at the distance of a mile
     
  15. dpixel8

    dpixel8 New Member

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    provide me with the rifle, airline tix, and the boats. I'll be there :naughty:
     
  16. sqwirl

    sqwirl New Member

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    With a hostage nearby as well. There is no damn way. Both boats are going to be listing differently. I'd double that $1,000 if someone did it.
     
  17. dpixel8

    dpixel8 New Member

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    *wouldn't mind an all expense paid cruise* :x:
     
  18. Laurel

    Laurel New Member

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    want2race could. :o
     
  19. AustinL911

    AustinL911 Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator

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    I still think it'd be simpler, and cheaper to just bomb the ever living fuck outta Somalia.
     
  20. 1979TA

    1979TA OT Supporter

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  21. Ihateusernames

    Ihateusernames What's This?

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    thats not a missle, but a torpedo. and its fired by high pressure air. 1600-3000 psi.
     
  22. 1979TA

    1979TA OT Supporter

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    Do I give a fuck? I reposted a video
     
  23. johan

    johan Active Member

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    there will always be a need for good shooters, but it takes time to grow & train expert snipers.

    think of the capability increase if in addition to the designated marksmen at section level, you could throw in the equivalent of two world class snipers into every platoon.

    that be worth something to ya?
     
  24. LancerV

    LancerV Something Happened OT Supporter

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    I think hes more saying its a bad idea because if the technology fails than what are you going to do?
     
  25. johan

    johan Active Member

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    oh, agreed. techy never replaces the man behind the trigger.

    But tech is always so attractive though, hard to just go out and buy more snipers on short notice.
     

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