Russians Launch Smart Bullet Effort in the Wake of U.S. Program

Russia’s Advanced Research Foundation has started testing of a "smart bullet," designed to hit targets 10 kilometers away. Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.Russia’s Advanced Research Foundation has started testing of a "smart bullet," designed to hit targets 10 kilometers away. Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

TASS Russian News Agency recently reported that Russia’s Advanced Research Foundation, or ARF, has started testing of a “smart bullet,” two years after Pentagon scientists launched a similar effort.

“The work in this direction continues. The stages of the product’s design and experimental development in an unguided regime have been completed, and the guided flight tests have started,” ARF deputy director General Vitaly Davydov told TASS in an interview.

ARF plans to test a smart bullet that is designed to hit targets at a distance of up to 10 kilometers, TASS reported.

Meanwhile, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, proved in a winter test in 2015 that its guided small-caliber bullet could hit a moving target with accuracy.

Dubbed the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance program or EXACTO, DARPA engineers plan to “revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet.” Program officials want the 50-caliber round and optical sighting technology to “extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems,” DARPA officials maintain.

The program has entered Phase II of development, which includes “design, integration and demonstration of aero-actuation controls, power sources, optical guidance systems, and sensors,” according to DARPA.

Agency officials released video in July 2014 of its first round of successful testing that shows the bullet adapting course after it’s fired from a sniper rifle.

About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at Military.com. He can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.