US Navy Destroyer Discreetly Tested Hyper Velocity Projectiles at 2018 RIMPAC

A US Navy vessel’s standard Mk 45 deck gun fired 20 hyper velocity projectiles – which are getting Pentagon funding over the electromagnetic railgun – in the shadows of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 international exercise, a new report says.

Twenty hyper velocity projectiles were fired from the destroyer USS Dewey as part of a study conducted by the US Navy and the Defense Department’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), unnamed officials familiar with the test told USNI News Monday.

The maritime warfare exercise is held in the waters off of Honolulu, Hawaii, every two years.

The test was part of a greater SCO effort to prove a 40-year-old deck gun filled with freshly designed ammunition could effectively neutralize large unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and cruise missiles, USNI News added. The report makes no mention of whether the test was a success.

The hyper velocity projectile is being cast as a low-cost alternative to the weapons currently used against cruise missile threats. Each Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, for example, costs $2 million; every Rolling Airframe Missile runs another $1 million; shooting a single Standard Missile 2 has a price greater than $400,000.

“If you think about the kinds of threats you might face in the Middle East, the lower-end cruise missiles or a larger UAV, now you have a way to shoot them down that doesn’t require you use a $2 million ESSM or $1 million RAM, because a hyper velocity projectile — even…

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