Tech Drones To Be Outfitted With Cheaper, And Lighter, GPS-Guided Mortar Rounds

Published on November 1st, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


Drones To Be Outfitted With Cheaper, And Lighter, GPS-Guided Mortar Rounds

There’s no denying – the military love their drones, especially when they can carry missile payloads like the Hellfire missiles, the only problem is that those missiles are heavy and cost a lot of money. At a 100 pounds per missile the Hellfire can weigh almost as much as the drone that is carrying it not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars they cost so it is no surprise that the military have been looking for options.

Well thanks to General Dynamics they now have that option and it is comparatively dirt cheap when compared to the Hellfire missile. What they have come up with is rather ingenious when you think about as it is just adding on to something that the military has a lot of – mortar shells.

The 81-millimeter mortar rounds have a guidance package, which is a part of a fuse attached to the shell, that is programmed with the GPS coordinates through a specially designed rack attached to the drone. The shell weighs in at around 10-pounds and when tested from a height of 7,000 feet they fell within seven meters of the intended target; which given the blast radius of 35 meters is pretty darn close. Oh and did we say that mortar rounds are extremely cheap to produce?

Needless to say this development has attracted the attention of law enforcement  as a way to launch non-lethal weapons like rubber bullets, tear gas, and of course taser rounds.

via Ars Technica



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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