The Navy is taking another look at a five-inch guided round for the U.S. surface fleet following the development of the 155 mm Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) for the Zumwalt-class destroyers (DDG-1000), Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, director of surface warfare (N96) for the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) told USNI News in a Jan. 9 interview.
“When we’re developing the technology for the 155mm (six inch), the question I asked the team was ‘If it’s good for a six-inch mount, is it good for a five inch mount?’ I think the answer to that is going to be yes,” Rowden said.
“If we can do it cost effectively, then we’d be foolish not to extend the range of those weapons to about five times of what we’re getting now.”
The Navy’s current Mk-45 five-inch guns have an unguided range at 13 nautical miles, compared of up to 100 nautical mile range of the LRLAP.
In the last year, U.S. naval leaders have emphasized the need for the service to develop a greater offensive capability in surface ships and submarines. Other efforts include developing a new anti-ship missile to replace the decades old Harpoon missile and the development of a new heavy torpedo.
However the Navy has had a difficult history with creating a five-inch guided round. The service ended funding for Raytheon’s five-inch Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM) in 2008 after a tortured development program that began in 1994.
BAE Systems is currently testing a guided round with the Army that could be used in the service’s Mk-45.
The Multi Service – Standard Guided Projectile (MS-SGP), internally funded by BAE, plans to be tested by the Army this first quarter of this year. The Navy likewise plans to test a version of the MS-SGP at the service’s test facility at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range testing facility this year, BAE officials told USNI News last week.