Mach 3 hypervelocity projectiles can be fired from regular 5 inch and 155 mm guns on land and sea. They can revolutionize defense against ballistic missiles because small, smart projectiles can be inexpensive. It takes 300 seconds to pick up such a launched missile’s signature, the missile must be tracked and a vector calculated for defensive projectiles. A single 25-pound projectile can dispense more than a couple of thousand three-gram tungsten (the entire mass would not be the small projectiles) impactors and be fired at hypervelocity by electromagnetic energy. Their impact force—their mass times the square of their velocity—can destroy expensive missiles and multiple warhead.
April 11, 2016, press report stated: The Pentagon wants to take a weapon originally designed for offense, flip its punch for defense and demonstrate by 2018 the potential for the Army and Navy to conduct missile defense of bases, ports and ships using traditional field guns to fire a new hypervelocity round guided by a mobile, ground variant of an Air Force fighter aircraft radar.
The Raid Breaker exercise would demonstrate the capabilities of the Hypervelocity Gun Weapon System program. The DOD wants to conduct an exercise against 100 cruise missiles and ballistic missiles and be able to knock down 95 to 98 of them.
DOD’s modeling shows that “if we can close the fire support with a controlled solution,” the weapon would be able to shoot down most of a 100-missile raid.
HVPs fired from 5-inch powder guns might not be able to counter ASBMs, they could indirectly improve a ship’s ability to counter ASBMs by permitting the ship to use fewer of its SAMs for countering ASCMs and more of its SAMs for countering ASBMs.
These projectiles which would be usable on over 1000 existing US land and sea based guns would greatly reduce the effectiveness of large volleys of short range missiles. They could also bolster the missile defenses of allies like South Korea.
A May 19, 2017, press report states: An Army Howitzer is now firing a super high-speed, high-tech, electromagnetic Hyper Velocity Projectile, initially developed as a Navy weapon, an effort to fast-track increasing lethal and effective weapons to warzones and key strategic locations, Pentagon officials said.
According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Defense report and a 2016 South Korean Ministry of National Defense report, the North Korean military has more than 1,300 aircraft, nearly 300 helicopters, 430 combatant vessels, 250 amphibious vessels, 70 submarines, 4,300 tanks, 2,500 armored vehicles, and 5,500 multiple-rocket launchers. Experts also estimate that North Korea has upwards of one thousand missiles of varying ranges.
The United states has 36 deployed ICBM interceptors and will have about 44 (8 more) interceptors installed by the end of 2017.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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