Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System

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The Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System (ARSS) is an experimental robotic weapons system being developed by the U.S. Army since 2005.[1] It consists of a remotely operated sniper rifle attached to an unmanned autonomous helicopter.[2] It is intended for use in urban combat or for several other missions requiring snipers.[3] Flight tests are scheduled to begin in Summer 2009.[1]

The rifle, a semiautomatic RND Manufacturing Edge 2000 firing the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge, is mounted on a stabilized platform, which is attached to the underside of a Vigilante 502 UAV.[2] The helicopter is flown by an autopilot while a human controller aims and fires the rifle, which may fire up to ten well-aimed shots per minute.[2] The rifle platform, called the Precision Weapons Platform (PWP), was designed by Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory and is equipped with a situational awareness camera and a two-level zoom scope.[4]

The system as a whole is being developed under the Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate in the course of its Aerial Delivery of Effects from Lightweight Aircraft (ADELA) program.[4][5] It uses much commercial off–the–shelf hardware to reduce cost and development time. For instance, the system is controlled using a Xbox 360 video game controller.[2]

Other weapons considered for use with the ARSS include the M249 or M240 machine guns, the AA-12 shotgun or non-lethal weapons. The ARSS hardware could also be installed on fixed-wing UAVs or ground combat robots.[2] The Lockheed Martin One Shot sniper system is being considered added to ARSS.[6]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Page, Lewis (21 April 2009). "Flying-rifle robocopter: Hovering sniper backup for US troops". The Register. Archived from the original on 24 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Hambling, David (May 2009). "UAV Helicopter Brings Finesse to Airstrikes". Popular Mechanics. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  3. ^ Hambling, David (April 21, 2009). "Army Tests Flying Robo-Sniper". Wired, "Danger Room" blog. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  4. ^ a b "ARSS - Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System". Space Dynamics Laboratory. Archived from the original on 19 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Army Tests Flying Robot Sniper". Fox News. 2009-04-22. Archived from the original on 26 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  6. ^ McHale, John. Laser-based sniper system ordered by DARPA from Lockheed Martin Military AeroSpace 18 December 2010. Accessed: 19 February 2011.