Military Review

Successes and Problems of the Homing Bullet

At the beginning of this year, the general public discussed news from the US Sandia National Laboratory. According to a press release, several years of work and the cost of millions of dollars in 15 led to the start of tests of a revolutionary ammunition. American engineers have created a practically applicable bullet, equipped with its own guidance system.

Previously, only some of the parameters of the new development were known, such as an approximate bullet length of about four inches, a firing range of about two kilometers and a number of other details. For example, Sandia Laboratory representatives repeatedly emphasized that the new bullet is intended for use in a smoothbore weapons. There were no official statements about the prerequisites for a smooth trunk, but experts immediately found the reason. The fact is that the new homing bullet does not have its own engine and moves only due to the energy of the powder charge. Accordingly, giving the bullet rotation in the barrel “eats” some part of the speed and, as a result, reduces the effective range. Representatives of Sandia, however, did not comment on this assumption.

Recently, the Laboratory published the news of the completion of tests of the first version of the homing bullet. Over the time since the first news, it has not undergone any major changes. True, this time the engineers did not limit themselves to a few numbers, and even became generous with the ammunition layout. So, in the nose of the bullet is placed the receiver of laser radiation, and the entire central part of it is occupied by the control equipment and the power source. A small, small-capacity battery supplies electricity to control chips that receive data from the sensor and generate commands for the steering machines. The latter, in turn, set in motion small steering surfaces. They can be seen in the back of the bullet - these are peculiar ridges. The system used in the pool is able to correct the flight direction to 30 once a second. At the same time, due to the peculiarities of the location of the rudders, the bullet cannot lay serious maneuvers. However, this is not necessary: ​​the task of the designers from the Sandia laboratory was to create a bullet that could hit the target, being simply shot at it.

As a result of testing and improving electronics, the new bullet is said to have greater accuracy at 98% at a distance of 2000 meters than standard bullets of the same caliber. At smaller distances, self-guided munitions have about the same advantages over unguided ones. As they say in Sandia, this is not the limit. After completing the tests of the first version of the guided bullet, American engineers have the groundwork to start work on an updated project modification. The second iteration of the program should lead to an increase in the firing range and an improvement in accuracy and accuracy. The fulfillment of such requirements looks quite realistic and some statements by the Laboratory management only confirm this. According to the manager of the new technological systems of the laboratory Sandia L. Schippers, the bullet electronics in the current state can transfer overload to 120 thousand units and pressure not less than 340 megapascals. This means that the self-guided bullet can be used with cartridges up to and including 12,7x99 mm. In the future, the staff of the National Laboratory plans to make several options for self-guided bullets of other calibers.

An interesting fact is that over the past few months, despite the progress in technical and constructive terms, Sandia’s wishes regarding the economic side of the project have not changed. Laboratories still need a source of funding. For some unknown reason, the main customer in the person of the Pentagon does not show proper interest in the homing bullets and is in no hurry to carry out such financing, which is required by the developer. Of course, official information about this was not published. There is a plausible version that says that the millions of dollars already spent on the 15 program do not look like a normal price for just finished tests. Accordingly, new public investment in the project is still under question. And this, it should be noted, is very interesting: the most likely user of a new development is in no hurry to invest in its creation.

As a result, at the moment, the promising program is undoubtedly in a very precarious situation. If further events develop not in the way that the Sandia laboratory workers would like, then there will be no bullets of other calibers. And the very idea of ​​a homing bullet risks for the time being an exclusively technical curiosity.

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  1. Neighbor
    Neighbor 2 June 2012 09: 21
    In general - the idea itself is possible, although hardly - and not bad. wassat
    If not for: oh ......... Price and low Reliability. A sort of mini-rocket. laughing
    Well do it, and then what? request
    Where to apply it! You don’t arm everyone with such ammunition. Only units. Well, to sense - again - a good sniper - and without any bells and whistles will fill up whoever is needed. yes
    In general - they have money ......... nowhere to go - as usual! lol
    Quote: Yes, and the very idea of ​​a homing bullet risks temporarily remaining exclusively a technical curiosity. belay
    In-in. So curious a little - worth $ 15.000.000. laughing
    1. Pimply
      Pimply 2 June 2012 15: 07
      But she is not needed for everyone. Specialized development. Snipers, special forces.
      1. AK-74-1
        AK-74-1 2 June 2012 17: 03
        I agree a little with the sniper. But in anti-terror units, a sniper works at distances of no more than 150-250, an edge of 400 meters and a special subsonic ammunition and a rifle with a PBS. Spetsnaz, this is not an airborne assault group, works quietly, does not break bricks with its head (although it can), it shoots extremely rarely, often only during ambushes (when either planting itself or being ambushed). On this I agree with the NEIGHBOR another wunderwaffle on a drink of money. Although the idea is interesting - "micro-rocket".
    2. aksakal
      aksakal 3 June 2012 16: 09
      Quote: Neighbor
      Where to apply it! You don’t arm everyone with such ammunition. Only units.
      - already in 2020, a good microchip will cost a little more than 10 cents. In mass production, the cost of such bullets can be dropped to an acceptable level for developed and economically strong countries (I don’t know for other countries), and therefore arm all the soldiers of this country.
      They do not show interest - this is a young company, it does not have its own people in the Pentagon and Dapre, there is no one to lobby, and they do not take kickbacks from Amer from unfamiliar people - they are a little tougher with this than in Russia. Hence the incomprehensible lack of interest in this development on the part of the military. The situation will change, how this company will give up its developments for mere pennies to some old player, some Rayon. Well this is IMHO.
      Here the fidels about our co-group yell, not seeing their own logs in their own eyes. And there are not logs, there are woods. Iraq Supply Scandals Screws at $ 3000 per piece - it's something! Russian military corruptionists still have to grow and grow to such proportions. laughing
  2. datur
    datur 2 June 2012 09: 36
    Neighbor, well, with their bottomless budget belay and the presence of a printing press in the yard wink guys can afford it !!! yes
  3. kotdavin4i
    kotdavin4i 2 June 2012 10: 15
    Technologies do not stand still, but while the reliability is really not high, the cost is, on the contrary, high, But everything will "settle down" over time. The use of these ammunition - by highly professional snipers to destroy "especially important targets". The rest of the infantry will go to the usual ones.
    Future is behind progress.
  4. Krilion
    Krilion 2 June 2012 12: 01
    in this case, if there is a result, the price no longer matters ... the enemy’s life is still more expensive ... and his own, too ...
  5. total commander
    total commander 2 June 2012 13: 18
    That is, it turns out that the shooter must continuously illuminate the target with a laser - in the case of a swinging boat this is quite problematic. And how effective is such a technology in real combat? It is convenient only to shoot stationary stationary objects.
    1. Korvin
      Korvin 18 June 2012 21: 26
      And how much time do you think it takes between a shot and a bullet hitting? He will not sit backlighting for hours, especially since the shooter still in most cases controls the target until he is convinced that he hit it.
  6. sergey261180
    sergey261180 2 June 2012 15: 51
    Promising development. Already, there are face recognition cameras. Suppose they put such a microcircuit in a bullet, and they will not need to highlight the target with a laser. And if you can insert into the underbarrel grenade, you can shoot with mounted fire.
    1. AK-74-1
      AK-74-1 2 June 2012 17: 05
      About the underbarrel grenade or in the ammunition for the 20 mm rifle of the South African rifle an interesting idea.
  7. Mr. Truth
    Mr. Truth 2 June 2012 18: 27
    in one of the militant books I read there was something interesting about such bullets. There, the bullet was held on the trajectory due to the flight inside the laser beam.
  8. lotus04
    lotus04 2 June 2012 21: 04
    Crap not worth the cost. With the same success, you can carry the "baby" rocket with you. The price is less, but the effect is greater. You won't even have to identify the target, they won't find it. And you don't have to light up with a laser, it is controlled by a wire. And no one will hear the clap of a shot, only zilch.
  9. Irek
    Irek 3 June 2012 13: 59
    easier / cheaper arrow with propeller and aiming ... and from some drone
  10. Artew
    Artew 3 June 2012 15: 59
    The idea is interesting, but not clear with it.
    For some reason, it is believed that the amers will spend a couple more millions of dollars and do something remotely, and the Russian lefthander will come up with and implement a controlled bullet for thanks or for the usual salary of a simple employee.
  11. itr
    itr 4 June 2012 11: 07
    15 million as a sum is not enough for the USA
  12. Simonov
    Simonov 8 June 2012 19: 12
    Pimpled. But she is not needed for everyone. Specialized development. Snipers, special forces.,
    American generals remember very well the experience of previous wars and understand that Charters and Instructions are the basis of the army's combat effectiveness, and not comics about Hollywood Batmen, "iron" and other "people" in multi-colored cones.
  13. Korvin
    Korvin 18 June 2012 21: 33
    Smooth-bore weapons like these are interesting experts because the bullet flies as the bullet should))) and not the rocket))) The plumage didn’t bother them? the interesting thing is that the Steyr AMR 2000 would fit well under this munition if it was removed from naphthalene.
  14. Honory
    Honory 22 March 2015 12: 33
    In any case, development is interesting and necessary. It can give impetus to new technologies.