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Drone Swarms as You Know Them Are Just an Illusion—for Now

Liam CobbPhoto by: Liam Cobb Look at all the pretty drones. Hovering above sports stadiums from Houston to Pyeongchang, many hundreds of them have lately sparkled in artful murmuration. On a recentTime magazine cover, 958 drones pixelated the sky. The world record, 1,374 LED-bedazzled microbots, was set by Chinese company EHang UAV in May. So-called drone swarms—the phrase people have taken up with gusto—are having their biggest, buzziest year ever. It’s an evocative word,swarms, and innocuous enough when applied to one ofIntel’s drone light shows. But it’s tinged with alarm—if drones can dance at twilight, they can also attack. Sure enough, a gang outside Denver sent a small fleet to harass FBI agents on a raid earlier this year. In Syria, rebels reportedly sicced a squadron of quadrotors on a Russian base. To the media, both events were swarms. Take comfort, then, in this buzzkill: “The swarm is really an illusion,” says Mac Schwager, an assistant professor at Stanford who studies mul…

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Russia to upgrade heavy sniper rifle

Russia’s 12.7mm heavy sniper rifle OSV-96 will be upgraded to get a new cartridge and become a precision gun, a representative of the Shipunov Instrument-Making Design Bureau (the rifle’s developer) told TASS on Wednesday.
Today the rifle is less accurate than other guns developed by the Shipunov Instrument-Making Design Bureau, for example, the MTs-116M sniper rifle, he said.
"Work is underway to upgrade the OSV-96 to increase the accuracy of fire and the density of hits. Now we are at the stage of R&D work, which will be followed by experimental and design work and a cycle of trials. We expect the rifle’s upgrade to be completed in 2020," the design bureau’s representative said.
A new sniper cartridge is planned to be developed as part of the OSV-96 rifle’s modernization, he added.
The OSV-96 is a Russian large-caliber sniper rifle designed to destroy enemy manpower and military hardware at large distances. The rifle is chambered for the powerful 12.7x107mm cartridge (used both for machine guns and specialized sniper rifles). According to the rifle’s producer, its accuracy range is 1,800 m. The rifle is fed by a 5-round magazine. The OSV-96 is in service with the Defense Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service of Russia.
TASS
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