Military Robocopter with sniper system revealed

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Military Robocopter with sniper system revealed

Imagine having a sniper silently hovering above a conflict area able to take out individuals at will instead of devastating an area with an expensive missile. Welcome to the new military helicopter.

It's called the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System. It mounts a powerful rifle onto highly stabilized turret, and fixes the package on board a Vigilante unmanned helicopter.

The system is intended for the urban battlefield an eye in the sky that can stare down concrete canyons, and blink out targets with extreme precision.

Attempting to return fire against the ARSS is liable to be a near-suicidal act: ARSS is described as being able to fire seven to 10 aimed shots per minute, and it's unlikely to miss.

Last week's standoff between pirates and the U.S. Navy in the Indian Ocean ended famously with three sniper shots, as a drone watched overhead. In 2008, French special forces captured six pirates on land after ransom had been paid while a sniper in a Puma helicopter shot out the motor of the pirates' four-wheel drive vehicle.

The U.S. Coast Guard's Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) uses helicopter-borne snipers to take out drug-running boats. They are accurate enough to knock out engines without harming the crew or damaging fuel tanks.

And because the Vigilante is smaller, lighter and cheaper than a manned combat helicopter, it can be supplied in greater numbers, and without the need for those elite, highly-trained snipers.

Sniping from a chopper currently takes tons of skill and training. But 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 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.

The name needs changing. But the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System looks like it may have a big future maybe on land, or maybe at sea.

 http://blog.wired.com/defen...

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By netchicken: posted on 23-4-2009








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