A New 'Self-Aiming Bullet' Sounds Like a Drone for Snipers

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Your frightening tech news of the day comes from The Economist, which reports that weapons designers are developing a "self-aiming bullet." Sounds to us a bit like a drone for snipers. Designed by Sandia National Laboratories (a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin), it's currently only a prototype, but if it came to market, it would make astounding feats of sniping -- we're reminded of the instance where Navy snipers picked off a pirate with a hostage in a lifeboat from 100 feet away in 2009 -- more commonplace. The bullet's secret apparently lies in four moveable fins attached to the back of the bullet itself that communicate through a computer chip with an "optical sensor" in the front of the bullet: 

A laser is shone at the intended target, the bullet is fired, and the chip uses the fins to adjust the bullet's trajectory in mid-flight.

It doesn't offer quite the same implications as the totally removed killings launched by unmanned drones but ... apparently it does give someone a pretty good degree of removal from a target. In a war where snipers have already killed Taliban fighters from a distance of several kilometers, this is not a good time to be on the other side of America's guns. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.