DARPA Develops Mountable One Shot Sniper System

One ShotThe military’s top research arm is finishing work to develop field-deployable prototypes of a sniper scope that automatically measures crosswind and range for a target.

Called One Shot XG, this is the next generation of the One Shot system. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency first started working on the One Shot sniper system in 2006 in order to increase the percentage of sniper one-shot kills.

The original One Shot system required a spotter/observer. The goal of the XG version of the program is to create a significantly smaller “field-ready system” that can be “clipped-on” directly to the weapon, according to DARPA.

This spring, the agency is on pace to complete the hardware and software for the XG program in order to produce prototypes that the services can use in field tests.

DARPA researchers completed its own field tests using a brass-board system “to develop and validate wind and measurement algorithms,” according to the agency. The One Shot XG team has since designed the hardware and software for the objective system. Work has begun to integrate these systems onto the field-deployable prototypes.

The One Shot XG team has set out goals to develop a system capable of measuring all “relevant physical phenomena that influence the ballistic trajectory, and rapidly calculate and display the offset aim point and confidence metric in the shooter’s riflescope. The system should provide the ability to see the aim point on the target in either day or night to enable rapid target identification, weapon alignment, measurement of range to target, and the crosspoint profile,” according to DARPA specifications.

Engineers are designing the One Shot XG to mount on a Picatinny Rail. It must be durable and perform in the harsh conditions a rifle might encounter such as a five foot drop onto packed soil and temperatures ranging from -20-49 degrees Celsius.

The integrated measurement scope must be able to measure crosswind and range in less than 3 seconds. It must be able to measure crosswind at a range of 1,500 meters during the day and 800 meters at night. And it must measure crosswinds up up to 15 m/s. It must also have a “range finder range of <100 meters to up to 2,000 meters +/- 1 meter on E-size target,” according to DARPA specifications.

When mounted, the One Shot XG system “should not interfere with the riflescope when using in-line night sights such as PVS-22, 27 and thermal sight such as FLIR HISS,” according to DARPA. It should also be mounted in a manner that does not “impede normal operation, supports the use of current rifle scopes with first focal plane reticles, and provides full capability against an E-silhouette target at the maximum effective range of the weapon.”

  • seans

    Well this is going to crush the Tracking Point if it works.

    • Axel

      It better not a fan of technology telling me what to do, especially where to aim

  • Lance

    More computer crap which will fail in the field that’s all what solders need more computers to get screwed up in combat. Time to tell these Army tech generals to take a hike.

    • It’s amazing and sadly predictable how much anti-army hate comes out of this joke that never wore a uniform…

    • ajspades

      Would you have us return to a non-electrical military? No phones, satellites, batteries, air conditioning, refrigeration and so on? The same critique of tech failing in the field has been brought up over sat phones, smart phones, tablets, and laptops; yet all of these are in use in the field.

      • MSgt Andy

        One Magnetic pulse, and what will we do then>

    • Musson

      It will work just fine… until the soldiers figure out how to download porn on it.

  • JCitizen

    I’ve seen several cool sniper systems like this in Shotgun News, or was it Guns America, but this is the 1st time I’ve seen one with a wind estimator on it. I gotta wonder how it is going to guess the wind all the way to the target? Seems like a laser could simply look at the optical shimmer affect that the human eye sees and get a more accurate estimated average.

    There were two auto ranging scopes featured in the last two months, one of them had a video of some numb nut who was standing around at the range, and they gave it to him to see if he could hit the target (300m+ I think) in the 1st shot, and he did it! Just to make sure it wasn’t beginner’s luck he did again and again! I’m with Lance on reliability though. But for a special mission, where they just don’t want to train good snipers? I don’t know – maybe they actually think it will save money by allowing untrained personnel to play Carlos Hathcock or something! HA! Trouble with that is, such a dummy would probably drop it, or bump into it and destroy a $30,000 dollar scope system!

    • Marcello

      Lovely how the site censored Carlos Hathcock’s name…

  • Josh W

    Maybe it’s just me, but +/- 1 meter on the rangefinder seems unnecessarily accurate. Is there an analog scope in use that actually zeroes to the nearest 1 meter? Wouldn’t +/- 10 meters be accurate enough? Not to mention easier for the engineers to achieve and less expensive to produce and field.

    • Stormcharger

      Actually it’s just the opposite. Most rangefinders are far more accurate, manufacturers have their software round up so that the display is simpler to understand and you don’t have to see an overly accurate string of decimals. For example, 239m is much easier to deal with than 238.77m.

  • moondawg

    It’s the Indian, not the arrow that is most important in combat. Sometimes I think our modern tech weenies forget that.

    • Darrin Williams

      The indian hits snags bud, weather, explosives soon and so forth. If a tool is made to eliminate these snags then deploy it. The same as our troops if a reason is given to deploy then deploy.

    • dcanaday

      The indians took great care when they crafted their weapons.

    • Drew

      Too true. They took care of sight picture, but this isn’t going to help when the shooter can’t control his breathing or trigger control.

  • mark

    I love technology. Think about it.In ww2 according to what I have read,we beat the German tanks by having such a superiority in numbers that we overwhelmed their superior tanks.
    Does anyone think all those tank crews that were decimated by tigers,appreciate we lost more than three times as many tanks,but won the war?
    If this technology saves a sniper that is saving your or my rear,or his own in sniper versus sniper,then hurray for the technology.
    All you need to look at is the superior technology of todays weapons to appreciate the fallacy of relying on human vs technological machines. It is not possible to aim,adjust fire,etc as well as a computer.

    • Al Smith

      In the big picture, the tanks fielded by the Germans in WWII did not outclass the USA Sherman tank. In a fight the Sherman held its own nicely against the common German tanks. On the other hand, the Germans did field a few monster tanks that American Shermans were at a decided disadvantage against. On the third hand, the USA fielded “Fire Flies” which were Shernans with heavier caliber guns that could put up a good fight against any German tank. The popular myth that the common WWII German tank was vastly superior to the Sherman is innaccurate. This comment is shallow and incomplete. Anyone who cares to get into this subject in depth can find plenty of accurate history easily. It is too bad that you guys dont do your homework before you start typing.

      • Riceball

        We did not use Fireflies, the Brits did and in relatively limited numbers too, we did use Shermans equipped with a slightly better 76mm gun but it was still inferior to the German 75s esp. since the HVAP rounds needed to make the 76 truly effective was generally not issued to Shermans but instead reserved for tank destroyers. Although armor wise a Sherman was equal to or superior to a PzKfw. IV it was outclassed by late war models in terms of firepower don’t mention being completely outclassed by Panthers & Tigers. So while not vastly inferior it still only barely adequate since American doctrine stated that a tank’s job was to support infantry so it didn’t need a high velocity gun for killing other tanks since that job was the responsibility of the lightly armored tank destroyers.

    • paperpushermj

      It is not possible to aim,adjust fire,etc as well as a computer.
      Later will the Computer understand it just took a Human Life ?

    • JCitizen

      The Sherman did have an electric automatic gun leveling system though! One of my buddies that was in armor in WW2 said they once hit the head of a German light mechanized column and the lead vehicle disappeared! All of this was at full speed for both the Wehrmacht and US columns! He said their commander called a halt and immediately surrendered! They admitted they did this because they assumed we had a new secret weapon! They were unaware we could shoot on the move. I’m not sure this was in fact a Sherman, but it was one of the run-of-the-mill medium to heavy tanks armed with the ubiquitous 75mm main gun,

  • old grunt

    Just curious about all this new tech stuff, Is the small stuff like this hardened against EMP? I,m kind of old school , Vietnam era Army, and I just hope that the new guys using this stuff are also trained and equipped sot they can still be effective if the computers go south. I still believe( and always will ) that the best computer in the military regardless of branch of service is the one between your ears. If that one is not up to snuff all these new tools are not going to do much for you except increase your load.

    • airborne_fister

      its like land nav. We all still learn to use a compass and map and protractor. But i still carried 2 GPS’s in Afghanistan. I know Garmin didn’t make them EMP proof. But if the taliban or whom ever had the capability to hit us with an EMP. I think we would have had bigger fish to fry. Also i did carry a map of our AO. but i was also the senior JFO.

  • ReconMan

    Technology is great stuff – but it has to be put in the context of portability, usability, survivability, and affordability. DARPA says the tech uses an “invisible laser beam”, so we have to ask exactly how “invisible” that is when the enemy uses thermal/IR/whatever systems to observe us. The tech folks tend to work very hard to get the weapon to shoot accurately with trade-offs for things like the above. We are also continuing to pile things on top of the troops assuming they will casually walk from their multi-million dollar vehicle to a hide site. In a real war if you have enemy at 2KM, and you are shooting them with rifles, something is very wrong with your air-land battle weapons mix. Lastly, what does this cost? Now that we are cutting pay and benefits for the troops, retirees, etc. is the juice worth the squeeze? Face it – in many cases we are being exploited by money-hungry public and private sector entities who want profit or continuing funding for their programs, whether they benefit the troops or not. We end up with $100 million for holsters for seldom-used handguns and other such fiscal atrocities. Is this needed – is it wanted – is it worth the direct cost – is it worth the opportunity costs?

  • Moondawg

    This thing is supposed to measure cross winds. Well my question is which cross wind. I have shot long range with wind flags every 50 yards or so. On some ranges, depending on the day, in say 500-800 yards you may have cross winds going in two totally opposite directions and everything in between. It all depends on terrain and what obstructions or terrain features there might be that causes counter currents and eddies in the wind. The cross wind you have at the muzzle may not be the same direction and velocity as you have at 150 yard and the wind at 500, or 1000, may be completely different from muzzle and 150. I doubt a computer that fits in a scope is going to pick all that up. What you need is training and experience and lots of trigger time, more than you need a hi-tech gadget. Our military is famous for trying to substitute tech for training time.

    • JCitizen

      That’s what I was wondering in my earlier post, but I didn’t make myself clear – and I wasn’t sure from the article that they were using lasers to measure it (whatever a bar is?)

  • SansVarnic

    Something that really needs to be pointed out here. The Technology that has been and is being developed and fielded is not to replace any of the training we as soldiers receive. All of the tech that has been implemented into soldier kit is there to supplement our ability to do our jobs. No matter what piece of kit we receive we are still trained to the job with out the tech so we know how to push on IF the tech was to fail in some way or another. The tech is there just help out, not to be relied upon necessarily.
    My 2 cents.

    • Joe San Miguel

      The training being received nowadays is crap! Most of the soldiers do NOT spend enough time at rifle ranges to really get good with their weapons, or at lest as good as they should be. Not their fault as budget cuts have crippled training budgets. But after serving 20 years with different combat brigades, have seen so many soldiers buddy up with someone at rifle ranges to score themselves as experts. Went to Desert Storm with a bunch of soldiers that upon arrival asked for a range to be set up so that they could learn what should have been taught and learned at all of our previous times at ranges!

      • SansVarnic

        I will try to keep this short and to the point. First, I am sorry you had a bad experience. Secondly, the unit I have spent my 10+ years in focuses on job specific training and admittedly it could be better but you missed my point I made in my comment. I pointed out that soldiers still receive training to be able to the job with out having to rely on high tech gadgets. New tech is there to supplement the soldiers abilities not to replace them. In my experience old school is still taught and passed down by those experienced to do so to newer soldiers as in my case I have several my unit more than willing to so. Your comment is true that basic training has gone down the tube but most units I have known make up for that by getting their soldier up to speed in-house. As to your comment on rifle training, each soldier whether active or reserves can take it upon themselves to go to the range whenever to stay in practice just like anything else it IS the soldiers responsibility to maintain him/her self physically, mentally and expecting to wait to be taught something is just an excuse.

        • Joe San Miguel

          Wow 10 yrs with the same unit! Not being sarcastic but in my 20 I saw so many bases and units where I served as a marksmanship, land nav instructor, and physical fitness instructor. The last 2 units were so screwed up from the SGM on down. The command was only interested in good stats and either cooked the stats or encouraged the men to cover for each other. I conducted an physical fitness test to a unit and 3/4 s of the men could NOT perform a single correct pushup or sit up and running times were a joke. I failed the men and the 1st SGT the next day gave these same men another test and guess what, they all maxed the test and I was informed by the CMD that I would no longer be allowed to evaluate APFTs. This is the same unit in 3rd Armoured Dv, 1st CBT Bde that reported an operational readiness rate of 98% up for our vehicles when in actual fact we had M577s without commo gear, a 21/2 ton truck with a 5 ton radiator, no heaters in the remainder of our trucks. We deployed to Iraq with so much broken down gear that we were dropping vehicles like flies on that 4 day convoy from hell trying to keep up with the rest of the Bde.. As to your comment about e men going on eir own time to a range, or taking the initiative to stay in shape, all I can say the unit you are in is so different from the Units I was in.

          • Sansvarnic

            Yes I know its a long time for one unit but hey I am a reservist now and that said most of the soldiers in my unit understand the need to maintain ourselves out of the uniform. A lot argue that its easier to be a reservist but in fact it is so much harder as we have to work our civilian job and maintain our readiness at the same time, doing as much training as we can in a weekend is very hard and almost always never enough time. I understand the whole brigade does the numbers thing but my unit specifically try’s to keep it honest and for some the pt thing is the most difficult to do, myself included but we do our best to encourage each other. We have some pretty straight shooters as I know my 1st SGT is as tough they come but I’ll tell you no short cuts are made. I feel for you for your past experience but maybe I have been fortunate to have had solid leadership at the company level as a lot of the senior leadership has been in this unit as long or longer than I have and they do know what needs to be done to get soldiers readiness up (without cheating). Don’t get me wrong this unit has had its ups and downs with command but I couldn’t be more proud of the fact that the senior enlisted have been consistent in integrity and self responsibility. I thank you for your candor.

  • Tyler

    Nice system, should be a nice aid for troops downrange. On the note of this kind of system though, it isn’t a fix all system to replace the current sniper/spotter team. I imagine that, among other emissions, this uses a laser rangefinder. There are some situations you just can’t afford to utilize anything that gives away your position like that. That said, still would be very useful for a large portion of sniping missions, probably eventually even a good addition to other units for their sharpshooters.

  • RRBunn

    When I worked for the Marine Corps Systems Command, I use to have engineers in training spend 3 months working for me. I use to have them write a specification for this systems. The difference was it had to be programmable for any weapon you mounted it to, compensate for the ballistic of the round, temperature, range and wind. This was 10 years ago. I had one very good draft and took it to infantry weapons, no interest then.


    For those who are interested here’s a good paper on laser measurement of cross wind:


  • bill

    Looks like the anti-technology gang wont’s military to go back to using flags for signaling & iron sights for guns.

  • bulldurham48

    Well since there is already a shooter ready system in use by sportsmen hunting all over the world this is no big deal. It only proves that if there a way Congress and their Pals will spend hundreds of millions on systems that already being fielded. Some maybe alittle better or not quite as good, but the same thing in general terms and effectiveness. NOW if they, Congress and the Pals, would ever talk with each other about was really under development instead of 20 groups working on the same thing and all spending Americas money, working together would same money and produce a better product for us to use. But that would not spend as much money and there would not be as much money to scrap off to their own pockets. So again, wasted money, several projects of the same nature, same results, only alot more rich people in on it again. Who gets screwed, the American Taxpayer

  • Tom Whalen

    What happens when the batteries are dead and the soldier can’t be resupplied with new batteries for a few days ?????

    • Riceball

      They go back to doing it the old fashioned way with either irons or a conventional scope.

  • JA Larson

    Shooting is only part of the sniper’s job. Fieldcraft is where most sniper trainees get flunked out.

    There are laser RF scopes and ballistic calculating scopes on the market now.

    If you give the trained sniper this weapon system, it simply lets him/her shoot faster, more accurately. So, hypothetically, the long range anti-materiel sniper can damage more multi-million dollar jets faster and scoot.

    Easy to carry batteries & spares.

    As this system is improved and shrunk, maybe even the SDM could get something like it. Even better, if something like predictive focus could give you auto lead on moving targets, you’d dramatically increase Ph/Pk.

  • CLocker

    I am surprised that some of the folks in here aren’t yelling, “One Shot XG! Get off my lawn!”


  • Simon Enefer

    Snipers have proven to be highly effective in recent combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Does this suggest that the current NATO 5.56 standard round is not appropriate and that by adopting 7.62 again as the standard infantry round, combined with a semi-automatic rifle might be a more effective combat weapon.

    A semi-automatic rifle with this more powerful round would be more effective than in the past as it could be combined with advance sighting technology to again the maximum value from the increased range. Given the effective range of an AK47 is supposed to be around 400m (Compared to the 500m claim for M16/M4/SA80) this would add at least 200-400m to the over match range during engagement. Also I remember an interview with an SBS officer recounting an engagement during the Falklands war (As special forces, the SBS were armed with M16 rather than the 7.62 SLR). The officer admit his surprise at seeing an Argentine soldier continuing to charge him after being hit several times by 5.56 rounds. I wonder if soldiers in more recent combat had had similar experiences.

    A squad armed with semi-automatic 7.62 or similar calibre rilfes, withsquad support weapons being either a similar calibre MG or 5.56 SAW would allow Western forces to maximize the benefits of supeior training and marksmanship, whilst keeping many engagements at greater ranges, so permitting the safer use of other support weapons such as mortars and artillery.

  • Malakie

    We have two Tracking Point systems here and if this is similar to it, it will be a great addition for static sniping at distance AND when exact precision is needed.

    However one thing we have learned during our training is that the system is not feasible for fast engagements, tactical engagements nor moving targets. These systems take time to get the proper tag and lock on the target then wait for the shot to occur before you can engage another target. I.E. You cannot just fire on a target, move the pip to another target and fire. You have to tag the target first before ever sending rounds downrange.

  • Randy

    Concerning caliber of rifles, snipers should have .308 – .338 depending on the tasking and be covered with a spotter with a M4 or equivalent.

    As far as advancements, any advantage we take with technology will be neutralized within a year or so by traitors selling the plans or actual instrument or it will be LOST on purpose by our current President to be used against our troops. There were so many advanced night vision goggles lost at Benghazie that I would learn to walk with my head no higher than 2 feet off the ground. Same thing goes for our advanced .50 Barrets etc that you can see on the news almost every night being used against us. Traitors operate without fear as no one really makes them pay anymore.