September 23, 2017 01:51 pm CDT
This Tiny Robot Moves at 2,000 mph
By Alex Koyfman, Wealth Daily


American Sniper, the book and movie by the same name, has opened the eyes of many to the realities of modern warfare.

Sniping, once viewed as a dishonorable means of taking the fight to the enemy, was shown to be far less simple and safe than the concept of engaging targets from a distance may imply.

When Chris Kyle, the book's late author, took position behind his high-powered bolt action rifle, it was to provide cover for other members of his SEAL team — or any other American unit requiring support — going into hostile areas in search of insurgents.

chriskyle

Working in an urban environment, Chief Petty Officer Kyle usually engaged the enemy from between 150 and 500 yards — close to medium range by sniper standards.

He often had to make split-second decisions on whether to fire or not, and he often did so at targets that were moving.

Nevertheless, he managed to execute his job with startling effectiveness, including one shot fired from over 2,100 yards (1.2 miles).

But as a Navy SEAL, what is extraordinary or even impossible to the common soldier was realistic for Chris Kyle — part of the reason his teammates nicknamed him "The Legend," while his enemies called him "the Devil of Ramadi" and put a bounty on his head.

Chris Kyle was tragically killed at a Texas shooting range by a fellow soldier, a young man whom Chris had been helping deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, his legacy will live on as more than just a historical footnote.

You see, Chris Kyle and his contemporaries may be the last generation of American snipers to go into combat firing ballistic or "dumb" bullets at their enemies.

Quite soon, all the mental calculations and practice-honed intuition that makes a world-class marksman will be done not by the shooter but by the rifle...

Or more specifically, the bullet itself.

The Future is Coming at 3,000 Feet Per Second

Last week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) tested the "EXACTO" round (Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance), which it developed in a cooperative effort with Teledyne Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TDY) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT).

The bullet, whose acronymic name couldn't be more fitting, has the ability to change direction in midair, even adjusting its flight path to compensate for movement on the part of the target.

Mated to a laser-equipped electronic sniper scope, the EXACTO round isn't your typical rifle projectile in more ways than one.

First of all, it's a large, .50-caliber projectile designed to be fired from the Army's biggest man-portable sniper rifle.

Unfortunately, the mechanics of the guidance system are classified, but what we can tell just by the performance of the round is that its reaction time takes place in microseconds, and some sort of mechanical control surface does the job of actually maneuvering the projectile as it travels downrange at close to three times the speed of sound.

exacto

The result? Well, for one thing, the effective range of the already long-shooting .50-cal rifle will be extended by as much as 50%.

More importantly, however, is that 2,000-yard shots, like the kind Chris Kyle made in Iraq, will become routine, with far less need for specialized training.

This technology has the ability to change the dynamic of small-arms combat... Indeed, it has the potential to widen the applications of sniper rifles well past their current levels of utility.

Now, a single two-man sniper team will have the ability to engage soft targets at ranges previously reserved for artillery, guided weapons, and aerial bombardment.

This will present a huge opportunity in terms of cost effectiveness, as guided bullets will still be a fraction of the cost of any of the larger, more sophisticated munitions used when rifles simply are not enough.

But it also alludes to a more profound paradigm shift.

This Technology Touches Everything

You see, whether the bullets are guided by moving control surfaces, like the ailerons of a plane wing, or whether they vector hot gases to produce micro-correcting bursts of thrusts, the computerized brain of these bullets combined with a physical component make them some of the quickest-thinking and smallest robots ever fielded by the military.

Without the constantly expanding speed and processing power of modern microcomputers, nothing like the EXACTO round would have been possible.

And now that DARPA has successfully proven the concept, we should expect the same trends to affect the rest of the devices produced by today's high-tech industry.

They will get smaller, cheaper, more effective, and more commonplace.

A few weeks ago, our resident tech expert, Jason Stutman, did an in-depth report on where the robotics industry is headed.

You have probably seen countless articles on this topic in recent years, but Jason's angle takes us further than just the trends and actually examines the most effective ways to leverage this trend into safe but aggressive investment plays.

His report is already making waves in the investment community, making investors impressive returns as one of today's most robust trends continues to play out.

I urge you to take a look at his analysis as soon as possible, because once you're behind the curve, the opportunity will fade fast.

Click here for instant access to Jason's free report.

Fortune favors the bold,

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Alex Koyfman

Coming to us from an already impressive career as an independent trader and private investor, Alex's specialty is in the often misunderstood but highly profitable development-stage microcap sector. Focusing on young, aggressive, innovative biotech and technology firms from the U.S. and Canada, Alex has built a track record most Wall Street hedge funders would envy. Alex contributes his thoughts and insights regularly to Wealth Daily. To learn more about Alex, click here.

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