from the faster-plinking dept.
The Navy plans to fire 5-inch diameter non-explosive projectiles from deck-mounted railguns:
The Navy plans to fire a high-speed, long-range rail-gun Hypervelocity Projectile from its deck-mounted 5-inch guns to destroy enemy drones, ships, incoming missiles and even submarines, service officials said.
The effort is led by a special Future Naval Capability program.
Navy officials say the program is leveraging commercial electronics miniaturization and computational performance increases to develop a common guided projectile for use in current 5 inch guns and future high velocity gun systems. The HVP effort will seek to increase range and accuracy of the 5-Inch Gun Weapon System in support of multiple mission areas, service developers told Warrior.
Developed initially for an Electromagnetic Rail Gun next-generation weapon, The Hyper Velocity Projectile, or HVP, can travel at speeds up to 2,000 meters per second when fired from a Rail Gun, a speed which is about three times that of most existing weapons.
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Officials from the armed forces and U.S. legislators expect wider use of directed energy weapons such as lasers and microwaves soon:
The officials described weapons that are in various stages of development and testing by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army, but said more work was needed to develop tactics for their use and to ensure sufficient funding. "Directed energy brings the dawn of an entirely new era in defense," Lieutenant General William Etter, Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, told a conference hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment in Washington.
Directed energy refers to weapons that emit focused energy in the form of lasers, microwaves, electromagnetic radiation, radio waves, sound or particle beams. Etter and other officials said such weapons could lower the cost of current weapons, speed up responses to enemy attacks and cut deaths of civilians in the battlefield, but tough policy questions remained about their deployment.
[Navy Secretary Ray] Mabus said the Navy was extending deployment of the laser on the Ponce, and using lessons learned to help produce a 100-150 kilowatt laser prototype for testing at sea in 2018 or sooner. He said a powerful new railgun that could hit targets 100 miles away would also be tested at sea next year. A railgun is an electrically powered electromagnetic projectile launcher. He said the Navy would release a comprehensive road map this fall for developing, acquiring and fielding high-power radio frequency weapons, lasers and directed energy countermeasures.
The Motley Fool's Rich Smith writes:
For more than three years now, I've been tracking the U.S. Navy's progress toward building a working electromagnetic railgun prototype — a Mach 6 cannon reputedly capable of striking targets 110 miles away with pinpoint accuracy.
Each railgun projectile would cost about $25,000 to produce — and if you're keeping track, then yes, success on the railgun project would yield a weapon boasting nearly twice the 67-mile range of Boeing's (NYSE:BA) Harpoon II missile but costing just 1/48th the Boeing missile's $1.2 million cost.
Electromagnetic Railgun - First shot at Dahlgren's new Terminal Range https://youtu.be/Pi-BDIu_umo