July 19, 2019
World News

US secretly tested new naval weapon

The US Navy tested a new weapon that could revolutionise warfare at sea.

Hyper Velocity Projectiles (HVP) were fired from a warship’s standard five-inch gun during war games off Hawaii last year, reports US Naval Institute News.

The previously unannounced test shots are a major advancement for the US military as it competes with China’s navy to develop hypersonic weaponry.

The US test fire was the first known use of HVPs at sea by a warship.

Hypersonic weapons and vehicles can travel faster than five times the speed of sound. The 12-kilogram HVP reportedly has a range of 80 kilometres – three times the range of conventional shells.

The HVP also has fins and a guidance system enabling it to accurately hit targets on land, sea and in the air – including incoming missiles.

And with a price tag of $140,000 it is also considerably cheaper compared with the surface-to-air missiles deployed by the US Navy and Royal Australian Navy that cost about $3 million each.

Hypersonic weapons and vehicles can travel faster than five times the speed of sound. The 12-kilogram HVP reportedly has a range of 80 kilometres – three times the range of conventional shells.

The HVP also has fins and a guidance system enabling it to accurately hit targets on land, sea and in the air – including incoming missiles.

And with a price tag of $140,000 it is also considerably cheaper compared with the surface-to-air missiles deployed by the US Navy and Royal Australian Navy that cost about $3 million each.

Last year’s US test of the HVP was from a naval gun that uses gunpowder to launch shells – a technology that dates back centuries.

While it can’t reach the speed of rail gun projectiles, it offers the US Navy the potential to pump out shells at between 16 and 20 rounds a minute.

This means the gun – fitted to a large number of US Navy vessels – could rapidly shoot multiple rounds over a larger area.

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