U.S. Army testing target-tracking smart rifles

Credit: TrackingPoint

Last summer a little startup called TrackingPoint unveiled the first in their line of "smart rifles". Unlike your average sniper rifle, which requires a great deal of training and expertise to effectively kill at range, the TrackingPoint rifles can be picked up by absolute novices, even those as young as 12 years old.

The rifles are equipped with scopes that house small Linux-based computers capable of easily making all the complex calculations that go into hitting a target at up to 1,000 yards on the fly. Shooters armed with TrackingPoint rifles need only "tag" their targets with a dedicated button located near the front of the trigger guard. Once the target is tagged, shooters need only line up their shot with the on-screen reticle, which will then turn red signaling a probable hit, and pull the trigger.

This system can theoretically allow inexperienced shooters to hit their targets with their first round, from 1,000 yards away — 70 percent of the time. That's a massive improvement when compared to trained Army snipers equipped with traditional weapons. The pros generally achieve a 30 percent hit rate on their first shot. That dramatic upswing in first-round accuracy is what prompted the U.S. Army to snap up six of these high-tech killing machines at a price of up to $27,000 a pop. As an added bonus, those same Linux-running computers could allow a number of TrackingPoint smart rifles to be networked together and fired remotely by a single shooter. Yowzas.

TrackingPoint, via Geek.com

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