The U.S. Navy's Electromagnetic Railgun Will Fire Supersonic Ammo

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Here's what to keep in mind: The need to deal with supersonic threats may come sooner than expected, particularly because of the so-called "superpower competition," which the Pentagon sees as the greatest threat to US national security: Photos of China's electro-magnetic railgun appeared in December - and probably to show his own arsenal of supersonic HVPs - ready to rule the high seas.
Last summer, according to a new U.S. Naval Institute report, during an international military exercise at sea, the U.S. Navy quietly fired 20 supersonic missiles originally intended for the service's futuristic electromagnetic railgun during an international military exercise at sea, which is a potentially significant one Rise signals the Navy's surface warfare capabilities amid the challenges of competitors like China.
Unnamed: Navy officials informed USNI News that the USS Dewey had fired 20 next-generation hypervelocity projectiles - a supersonic cartridge capable of hitting targets up to 100 nautical miles at a speed close to Mach 6. Originally developed as ammunition for the Office of Naval Research, the vaunted electromagnetic railgun system that the Dewey carried out with its five-inch Mk 45 deck guns during the RIMPAC exercise (Rim of the Pacific) 2018 tested the fast new round.
U.S. defense officials previously announced their intention to test the HVP grenades developed by BAE Systems for ONR in January 2018. The report signals an important step forward for critical news ability for the US surface fleet.
In 2016, Pentagon Strategic Capabilities Office officials began shifting the Big Navy's energy priorities to simply distributing the HVP to conventional powder weapons, such as the Army's 155mm howitzer, rather than the increasingly expensive and complicated Railgun system leave.
Indeed, BAE's agreement with ONR and SCO includes HVP's intended applications for "the 5-inch systems of the Navy, the 155-mm systems of the Navy, Marine Corps and Army, and future electromagnetic (EM) rail guns ".
But instead of considering action as a weapon of attack, it is more likely that these Mk 45-fired HVPs will largely complement existing missile defense capabilities for surface ships, if only for cost reasons. USNI News found that the standard Evolved Seasparrow Missile or Rolling Airframe Missile cost several million dollars each. In contrast, the Navy's PEO Integrated Warfare Systems office estimated the cost of an HVP to be around $ 85,000, as HVP program manager Vincent Sabio noted in January 2017.
"We need to be able to face (all) types of threats: subsonic, supersonic, sea flying, land hugging; coming in and falling on us," said Sabio at the time. "There are many different ways that we have to deal with that we cannot deal with effectively today."
The need to deal with supersonic threats may be here earlier than expected, particularly due to the so-called "superpower competition" that the Pentagon sees as the greatest threat to US national security: in December, photos appeared to show - and presumably be - China's electromotive Railgun own arsenal of supersonic HVPs - ready to rule the high seas.
This article originally appeared on Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter.
This article was first published in 2019.
Image: Flickr.
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