The Army has had two previous successful hypersonic tests and might field early operational land-based hypersonic weapons by 2022. Milley would not commit to 2022 because the hypersonics are still in the research phase.
The US Army and Navy are in the process of upgrading existing big guns with hypervelocity shells. (HVP)
HVP will double the speed of projectiles in howitzers, Paladins, the Navy’s five-inch guns up to mach 3.
The Army and Navy have more than a 1,000 powder guns.
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.
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.
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