Pentagon Office Shares Details About Hypervelocity Missile Defense Weapon

The hypervelocity gun weapon system could potentially be used on Navy destroyers such as the USS O'Kane.

The hypervelocity gun weapon system could potentially be used on Navy destroyers such as the USS O'Kane.

February 26, 2018 | Source: National Defense, nationaldefensemagazine.org, 26 January 2018, Yasmin Tadjdeh

A new weapon system developed by the Strategic Capabilities Office — a secretive Pentagon agency meant to advance cutting-edge technology — could improve integrated air and missile defense by reducing overall costs and increasing flexibility, said an official Jan. 25.

The technology — known as the hypervelocity gun weapon system, or HGWS — is a small, flexible hypervelocity projectile, said Vince Sabio, program manager for the system.

“That projectile is being designed to engage multiple threats,” he said during a panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. “There may be different modes that it operates in and … we may tell it shortly after it comes out of the gun which type of a threat it is going after, and it will configure itself for that type of threat in terms of the dynamics — how does it maneuver, how does it close on the threat.”

The projectiles can be shot out of Army M144 155 mm howitzers and Navy 5-inch deck guns on destroyers, he noted.

“Any place that you can take a 155, any place that you can take your Navy DDG, you have got an inexpensive, flexible air and missile defense capability,” he said. “For both the Marines and Army, [this is] a new concept which is essentially air and missile defense on the move, or in the Marine sense, expeditionary air and missile defense — something that the military currently does not have and fundamentally needs.”

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