Feeds

Computing smart-scope gunsight for US snipers

Terry Pratchett gizmo makes long shots hit 6 times out of 10

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

US military boffins are about to produce a field-ready computer gunsight which will let snipers kill people on their first shot from a mile away - even with troublesome winds blowing.

The technical issues facing the so-called "One Shot" project have already been solved using prototype equipment, and it is now planned to produce 15 "fully operational and field hardened" sets of gear for further development trials on the battlefield.

British snipers practice with L115A3 rifles. Credit: MoD

This is how it's done nowadays.

Modern-day sniper rifles can easily throw their bullets across tremendously long distances, but beyond a certain point it becomes impossibly difficult to adjust the aim to allow for atmospheric effects - in particular for the wind. It can also be a time-consuming business allowing for all the changing factors which can affect the path of a bullet's flight - range, temperature, atmospheric pressure, the spin of the projectile itself, the relative heights of the target and shooter.

Thus it is that very long-range hits beyond 2km do get made, but they are rarities. The current combat sniping record is nowadays generally credited to Corporal of Horse* Craig Harrison of the British Army, who hit and killed two Taliban machine-gunners at a distance of 2,474 metres in November last year in as many shots and then destroyed their weapon with a third round. However, he missed several times before getting the necessary corrections nailed down so expertly.

Harrison was able to make these astonishing shots because - in his words - "conditions were perfect, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility".

The previous record-holder, Corporal Rob Furlong of the 3rd battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, killed an al-Qaeda gunman at 2,430m in 2002 - but like Harrison took several shots before scoring a hit. Furlong may also have been aided by the thin air high in the Shah-i-Kot valley where he was fighting at the time.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.