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New precision, to focus on the historical .50-cal machine guns can hit enemy drones

File photo – Soldiers assigned to the 289th Composite Supply Company, 553rd Combat Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Stamina Brigade, fire an M2 .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a Humvee in Fort Hood, Texas, Sept. 9. Tracer rounds are included in the ammunition to help the shooter aim at pop-up targets visible through night vision goggles. (Kpl. Michael Smith)

The Army is revving in the development and delivery of advanced targeting technology for the .50-cal machine gun to increase precision, an expansion of the mission envelope, and destroy challenging targets, such as enemy drones, low-flying aircraft, light skin, armored vehicles, and troop concentrations.

Senior Army officials say the service is Fast Equipping Force is fast-tracking improved “slue-to-cue technology, new sensors and new radar-based targeting technology to the .50-Cal precision accuracy.

In service for decades, the .50-Cal has of course been thought of as largely an area weapon are able to determine suppressive fire, allowing the troop to maneuver through a blanket of enemy targets with rounds. The coat of arms of the course still has this feature yet technical efforts are taken to .50-Cal targeting more precise, in such a way that it could shoot swarms of quadcopters or other commercial use of mini-drones are configured for the attack.

The .50-Cal can fire up to 600 rounds per minute at ranges of 7,000 meters, with an ideal attack range of 2,000 meters, and Military information displays.

Precision-guided weapons, such as JDAMs out of the sky, have been operational for decades. GPS-guided land weapons such as Excalibur 155m artillery rounds, or the larger GMLRS Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, have been in the fight since 2007 and 2008; engineering similar guidelines for smaller rounds, of course, is a much more difficult task.

Non-Kinetic EW approaches have been used effectively to jam signals of ISIS drones by the Army and the air force; Ward explained that this policy would be complemented by the emerging kinetic options.

Various technical efforts to the chief engineer, precision guidance for the .50-Cal has been in development for several years. In 2015, a DARPA program called Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) demonstrated self-steering bullets to increase hit rates for difficult, long-distance shots. DARPA’s website, including a video of a live-fire demonstration of the technology, argues that EXACTO rounds maneuvering in flight to hit targets that move and accelerate.

“EXACTO’s specially designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system to track and direct projectiles to their targets to compensate for weather, wind, target movement and other factors that impede successful hits,” DARPA.mil states.

Laser rangefinding technology is an important element of EXACTO in order to be able for rapidly changing factors such as wind and target movement; since the speed of light is a known entity, and the time of travel of a round can also be determined, a computer algorithm can then determine the exact distance of a target and guide rounds exactly to a target. — More Details of the DARPA effort is available HERE

Elements of the accelerated route counter-drone effort with regard to the forward base protection, is a collaboration between the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force and the service program of record Forward Operating Base protective weapon -Counter-Rocket Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM).

The historical .50-Cal for the first time, was tested by the Army in 1918. The M2 was designed in response to both German 13mm anti-tank guns being fielded and the thicker enemy armor appearing on the battlefield in Europe, an Army report stated.

After a number of tests, the M2 was in 1923 as the M1921. It is a scaled-up version of an earlier Browning design, the M1917 .30-cal water-cooled machine gun, and, like its predecessor, the early variants of the M2 were also water-cooled. Since the first induction, the M2 has undergone some changes, although the basic operation of the weapon system has remained the same.

More Weapons and Technology –WARRIOR MAVEN (CLICK HERE)

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