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US Navy has tested Hyper Velocity Projectiles on cruisers and destroyers

It appears that the US Navy has tested, last summer, new ammunition for its existing weapons on destroyers and cruisers. This new type of ammunition is called the Hyper Velocity Projectile (HVP) and can reach speeds up to Mach 3.

US Navy has tested Hyper Velocity Projectiles on cruisers and destroyers 925 001 HVP 5-inch to be fired from Mk 45 at Surface Navy Association 2017 in the USA (Picture source : Navy Recognition)

Twenty of these HVPs have been fired from a Mk 45 (127mm/5-inch) gun mounted on the destroyer USS Dewey, last year, during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) international exercise and has been led by the US Navy and the Defense Department’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO).

The SCO, with this test, wanted to prove the efficiency of its 40-year-old deck gun filled with new ammunition to neutralise UAVs and cruise missiles. These new projectiles could reduce the costs of facing UAVs and cruise missiles because they only require between $US 75,000 and $US 100,000 for each unit to be produced. In comparison with this cost, shooting a $US 2 million Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) or a $US 1 million Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) is far too expensive for the threats they can handle.

The HVP could be a great answer for the US government to the new Chinese electromagnetic railgun that has been spotted sailing out for sea trials. Even though these projectiles seem to be slower than rounds fired from an electromagnetic railgun, the HVPs could provide a similar capability to shoot down aerial threats (fast and cheap response to threats). The American DoD remains also interested in the fire improvement that could be the Railgun HVP (BAE Systems in progress with its design) which could launch HVPs reaching velocity up to Mach 7.