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Document: Report to Congress on Navy Laser, Railgun and Hypervelocity Projectiles

The following is the Oct 21, 2016 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Lasers, Railgun and Hypervelocity Projectile.

via fas.org

  • John Locke

    Still, and this is publicly available knowledge, you have to see the target to shoot it and lasers have atmospheric limitations. A little asymmetric creative thinking diminishes their effectiveness.

  • Bailey Zhang

    I think CVN-78 need more SSLs to counter the ASBM and ASCB, like 300-500KW class SSLs, CVN-78 can handle the amount those SSLs need, DDG 51 Flight III can have 2 150-200KW class SSLs since the power system has been upgrade.

  • RobM1981

    That bulleted list on page 2 seems to be precisely correct. Little focus on offensive use of these weapons, at least not yet. As defensive measures, however, they will be huge. As fast as a missile can be, it is nothing when compared to the speed of light. Even the HVP is orders of magnitude better at CIWS than what we have today.

    Brave new world, for sure.

  • Chris Carson

    The problem with railguns etc is that there will be an electromagnetic, visual etc component that will be visible to appropriate sensors. That will allow a simple ‘jink’, to make the already shot railgun, miss.

    • Curtis Conway

      One must see it coming. You won’t hear it coming. And remember, it Guided (seeker, data-link, beam rider, etc.)!

      • Chris Carson

        Anything smart will be looking. Any speed of light signal will be picked up before the kinetic bit arrives. Any small change in course will be enough to make that bit miss. I am talking anti-missile railgun here.

        • Curtis Conway

          For an illuminated engagement you are correct. For a passive guided device it will be more problematic. It’s hard to get out of the way of something this you didn’t hear coming (going anywhere from Mach 3 [HVP from powder gun], or Mach 5-7 [EMRG round]) and it has a passive guidance system.

  • Curtis Conway

    Of the three programs Hyper Velocity Projectiles (HVP) is obviously the highest priority, due to its return on investment and providing the synergistic effect of employment against the greatest number of threats across all the services, and engaging threats at the greatest range, including perhaps Ballistic Missile Defense ashore some day.

    The HVP provides more short-term promise for not only the Navy/Marine Corps but the Army to use those HVP rounds in both service’s existing powder guns, and should be fully funded, for this is the most rapid game changer coming on line.

    The Smart Projectile should become the norm in all artillery in a decade all the way down to 30 mm, adding that lethal and smart bullet capacity to the ground troops in armored vehicles, and perhaps Close Air Support aircraft of the future.

    A rapid prototyping competition should be held ASAP for a Mk15 CIWS replacement, which will have its own standby power, and be able to start engaging targets out to two (2) miles.

    A program of record should be established for Passive detection, tracking and directions systems that can be used on land, aboard ship, and in the air that is multi-spectral in nature, and can function in a highly ionized environment. It should have a very large track stores capability, and be able to interface with most currently used EO/IR systems used for tracking, designation and illumination of guided weapons.

  • draeger24

    While I am a fan of the 155mm, and it’s commonality with the other services, the HVP does not adequately support the Marines. I does not account for area suppression, illum missions, and smoke missions. I may be wrong on this, but what about “troops in the open” or massed trucks, armor, etc. While the HVP rounds are tremendous for static buildings, etc, is the initiative to simply forget this mission vital to the grunts on shore?