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Sniper Rifle Armed Robotic Helicopters – America’s Solution to Piracy

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Posted by Tony Huynh.
I was reading Wired magazine and ran across an article about how the US military is mounting remote controlled sniper rifles to unmanned helicopters. They call it Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System (ARSS).

Sniper Rifle Mounted Unmanned UAV Helicopter

This comment to the linked article cracked me up.

“For combating pirates, maybe they can change the name to Autonomous Rotorcraft Remote Robot Rifle. Then they could call it ARRRR!” – Gustavus Adoofus

While the idea has been around for a while, it only became feasible recently when Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory designed a lightweight, stabilized turret. And get this, the whole thing is operated with an adapted Xbox 360 controller. The military could start recruiting The Last StarFighter style or even hide the whole thing and go Ender’s Game!

“[The] ARSS is literally point-and-shoot for the operator on the ground, using a videogame-type controller. The software makes all the necessary corrections, and the system should ensure first-round kills at several hundred yards. The secret is in the control system and stabilized turret (on the right in the picture above), which is currently fitted with a powerful RND Manufacturing Edge 2000 rifle specifically designed for sniping work, using the heavyweight .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge.

The stabilized turret could be fitted to a variety of other vehicles — including a a small blimp, or a fixed-wing unmanned plane, like the Predator. Compared to the Predator’s array of Hellfire missiles, the ARSS’ lone gun would be much less likely to hit civilians. It would also give a far deeper magazine: dozens of shots instead of a handful of missiles, and at a cost of around $4 per trigger pull rather than about $100,000 for a Hellfire. But the turret doesn’t need such a big craft to carry it, as the complete turret assembly weighs less than a single Hellfire.”
Pirates better watch out!

This is an article in Popular Mechanics with greater detail about the ARSS’s capabilities.

See my other related articles:
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Best Games of All Time by Genre Part 1
10 Greatest Video Game Designers Part 1
What’s Bad About Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Mode?
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