popsci.com reports that Lockheed Martin has scored a $9.2 million contract to develop its “One-Shot” sniper system. Here’s what you tax money’s bought you so far: “During the project’s first phase, which started in 2007, Lockheed developed a down-range system that measured average crosswind; range to target; spotter scope position; air temperature, pressure, and humidity; and more, according to Military Aerospace. Using all those variables, it calculated the ballistics for a .308 bullet at ranges as far as 3,600 feet.” Hang on; there’s an app for that! Actually, a bunch. But none as sophisticated as this one (we hope). Spotters beware: it looks like Lockheed’s heading straight towards a semi-autonomous (someone’s got to pull the trigger) cyber-rifle . . .
While that’s impressive, the system was too heavy and unwieldy, and it couldn’t be used with standard rifle scopes. The phase two design will be more compact and able to operate in real time and over longer distances.
It will measure atmospheric conditions, account for the weapon’s maximum effective range and include GPS coordinates. It’s also supposed to communicate with the rifle scope, informing the gun itself of the aim point offset and expected crosswind.
Why do I get the feeling that there’s someone in the private sector that’s already got this wired?