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Thread: Up to date overview of the Navy's laser and hypervelocity gun projects

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    Up to date overview of the Navy's laser and hypervelocity gun projects

    Very nice PDF laying out current information as of May 2016:

    https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R44175.pdf

    Also, there's been some confusion about the difference between the hypervelocity round and the railgun project and the applications envisioned for the two projects:

    Projects:

    The railgun project is the EM rail gun that we've been hearing about for the past several years. It aims to shoot a guided hypervelocity round at Mach 5-7.

    The hypervelocity projectile is an offshoot from the project to develop that guided hypervelocity round. The aim of the project is to shoot the same projectile out of conventional 5 inch guns. It turns out that this round is still substantially faster (~ Mach 3) than conventional 5 inch rounds, making it a viable weapon for fleet air defense.

    Applications:

    The original application envisioned for EM rail guns was long range fire support for the Marines. However, as the project evolved, a greater emphasis has been shifted to fleet air defense. The reason is that the low cost and deep magazines afforded by deploying guided hypervelocity rounds from Naval 5 inch and EM rail guns (along with the use of lasers) inverts both the economics and the logistics of missile interceptions to favor the defender.

    Coming out of the 5 inch gun, the Mach 3 hypervelocity projectile can intercept aircraft and cruise missiles.

    Coming out of the EM rail gun, the same round can attain Mach 7 with terminal guidance. It will have the ability to engage anti-ship ballistic missiles.

    Deployment:

    It appears that the hypervelocity round is headed for imminent deployment in 5 inch guns.

    The EM rail deployment will take longer. The barrel wear issue has been solved and put away. The primary technical challenge now is to create compact power supplies for shipborne applications, and increase the kinetic energy of the round.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Very nice PDF laying out current information as of May 2016:

    https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R44175.pdf

    CRS report R44175 has been revised and released, October 23, 2018.
    The link above is still valid.
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