Self-Aiming Sniper Rifles
U.S. Snipers are about to get even more deadly…
We’ve already seen how a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory are well on the way to developing a self correcting system for long-range high caliber weapons, but they’re certainly not the only ones hoping to bring self aiming capabilities to the weapons of the U.S Armed Forces. Lockheed Martin plans to deliver working prototypes of its self aiming system for sniper rifles by the end of this year.
The electro-optical system, developed by the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors (MS2) segment in Akron, Ohio, measures every single variable that could possibly affect a bullets flight, then it automatically offsets the rectile, scope, and consequently, the snipers aim, to ensure a perfect shot every time the trigger is pulled.
Image Credit: Pfc. Micah E. Clare, U.S. Army, 2007.
U.S. Snipers To Get Self Aiming System
The “system’s integrated spotter scope (ISS) should measure crosswinds, maximum effective range of the weapon, temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, cant and pointing angles, and GPS coordinates, as well as allow direct day and night observation of targets with continuous updates of the aim point offset corrections, with no alignment verification of the laser/crosswind optics to the spotting scope necessary.” [Military & Aerospace]
In 2007, Lockheed Martin won a $6.9 million contract to develop its self aiming system as part of DARPA’s One Shot program. While the phase one version was a little bulky and inadequate for deployment, the company did have success calculating the ballistics for a .308 bullet for ranges up to 3,600ft. Thankfully the hard work did not go to waste, and the company was award another contract for the second phase of its One-Shot system.
Lockheed’s phase two models promise to be more lightweight – just over 8lbs; will able to operate over long distances in real time; and will fit standard .308 and .338 caliber military sniper rifles. The company is planning to deliver 15 working models for field testing in October.
The company is also applying technology from the One-Shot program to an experimental advanced rifle sight called the Dynamic Image Gun sight Optic (DInGO). DInGO aims to provide marksmen with an enhanced ability to hit targets at ranges from 10 to 2,000 feet.
As if the One-Shot technology wasn’t proving useful enough already, the company plans to apply the tech to a new program called the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System, which aims to give snipers the ability take out targets remotely from manned of unmanned helicopters, or from fixed-site towers, using a rifle mounted atop a stabilized turret.
Should all of these projects prove successful, the U.S Armed Force’s unmanned arsenal stands to receive some effective new upgrades that will no doubt save the lives of the many troops who stare death in the face to continually fight for our freedom.
- Rebecca Boyle: Darpa's Self-Aiming "One Shot" Sniper Rifle Scheduled for Next Year. Popular Science, 10/02/2010.
- John Keller: Lockheed Martin to continue One Shot program electro-optics work to help snipers hit targets in crosswinds. Military & Aerospace, 10/01/2010.