About year and a half ago, researchers at the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office realized that the Army and Navy could use the Hyper Velocity Projectiles (HVP) rounds meant for the railgun in regular big guns. They will double the speed of projectiles in howitzers, Paladins, the Navy’s five-inch guns.
The Army and Navy have more than a 1,000 powder guns but have very few railguns.
The new high velocity projectiles will be able to hit targets 10 to 30 miles away and they can be used in air defense as well.
At the moment, the Army and the Navy both rely on missiles to intercept both ballistic and cruise missiles that can cost in the tens of millions of dollars but have ranges of hundreds of miles.
Comparatively, according to the CSBA study, the guided HVP round from a powder gun or a railgun could range from $25,000 to $50,000 at ranges of 30 miles.
USS Shoup (DDG 86) fires a MK 45 5-inch gun during a live fire exercise during Rim of the Pacific 2016. US Navy Photo
The military is working to create HVP sensor and a fire control regime that will find its way eventually to the railgun project
SOURCES= CSBA, USNI