|from a french military blog, translated with google, forgive the poorness of the translation:
How to eliminate a terrorist hidden among the civilian population
without a drone - like the Predator --
armed with a missile and avoid causing collateral damage?
The Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System (ARSS) is one of the answers.
This system is composed by an unmanned helicopter, called Vigilante
502, and a stabilized platform (Precision Weapons Platform - PWP),
designed by the Space Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Utah, on which are mounted the powerful RND Manufacturing Edge 2000
and a camera.
The whole is controlled through a video game controller, like the Xbox 360 controller, and the software does all the corrections
necessary before shooting.
Initially developed in 2005 for urban warfare, the ARSS
undergo its first test flight as early as summer 2009. It could be
possibly used for other missions.
For example, such a system would have been perfect during the intervention to rescue the crew of the Ponant from Somali pirates in April 2008. In the process, French special forces stopped the pirates' car with a sniper who took his shot from a Puma Helicopter.
We could have had the same result using the ARSS, which not only is easier to implement, but also much much cheaper than a helicopter.
Furthermore, the firing platform can be mounted on a classic drone or even a robot on the ground.