Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Navy Quietly Tested Supersonic Ammo At Sea Last Year
The U.S. Navy quietly test-fired 20 supersonic projectiles originally intended for the service's futuristic electromagnetic railgun from the conventional deck guns during an international military exercise at sea last summer, according to a new report from the U.S. Naval Institute, signaling a potentially significant boost in the Navy's surface warfare capabilities amid challenges from competitors like China.
Unnamed Navy officials told USNI News that the USS Dewey fired off 20 of the next-generation hypervelocity projectile — a supersonic shell capable of striking targets up to 100 nautical miles away at speeds approaching Mach 6. Originally developed as ammunition for the Office of Naval Research's vaunted electromagnetic railgun system, the Dewey used its Mk 45 five-inch deck guns during the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise to test out the speedy new round.
U.S. defense officials had previously announced its intent to test-fire the HVP shells developed for ONR by BAE Systems in January 2018, the report signals a major step forward for a critical news capability for the U.S. surface fleet.
Slide 7 from Navy briefing entitled "Electromagnetic Railgun," NDIA Joint Armaments Forum, Exhibition & Technology Demonstration, May 14, 2014Congressional Research Service
In 2016, officials in the Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office began shifting Big Navy's directed energy priorities towards simply proliferating the HVP to conventional powder weapons like the Army's 155mm howitzer rather than relying on the increasingly expensive and complicated railgun system.
Indeed, BAE's contract with ONR and SCO states the intended applications of the HVP to "the Navy 5-Inch; Navy, Marine Corps, and Army 155-mm systems; and future electromagnetic (EM) railguns."
But rather than see action as an offensive weapon, it's more likely those Mk 45-fired HVPs will largely help supplement existing missile defense capabilities for surface vessels, if only for cost purposes. As USNI News noted, the standard Evolved Seasparrow Missile or Rolling Airframe Missile cost several million dollars apiece. By contrast, the Navy's PEO Integrated Warfare Systems office put the cost of an HVP around $85,000, as HVP program manager Vincent Sabio stated in January 2017."We need to be able to address (all) types of threats: subsonic, supersonic; sea-skimming, land-hugging; coming in from above and dropping down on top of us," Sabio said at the time. "There are many different trajectories that we need to be able to deal with that we… cannot deal with effectively today."
Slide 5 from Navy briefing entitled "Electromagnetic Railgun," NDIA Joint Armaments Forum, Exhibition & Technology Demonstration, May 14, 2014Congressional Research Service
The need to deal with supersonic threats may be here sooner than expected, especially from the so-called "great power competition" that the Pentagon sees as the greatest threat to U.S. national security: In December, photos appeared to show the China's electromagentic railgun — and, presumably, its own arsenal of supersonic HVPs — ready to rule the high seas.
Military veterans from throughout Northeast Florida came together Saturday morning to honor comrades in arms who were prisoners of war or missing in action, and remember their sacrifice.
After the plane landed, Pope Army Airfield was silent on Saturday.
A chaplain prayed and a family member sobbed.
Tarah McLaughlin's fingers traced her husband's flag-draped coffin before she pressed two fingers to her lips then pressed her fingers to the coffin.
The remains of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia, arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, also was killed in the same incident.
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.