Hyper-Velocity Powder Gun

- September 2016 by John Middleton

 Quick Facts

Mobility Can be mounted on Paladin, Howitzer-type weapon or Navy ship
Range 30 nautical miles[1]
Role Provide ground forces and naval ships with defenses against incoming missile threats
Interceptor Hyper Velocity Projectiles (HVP)
Velocity of Projectile Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound)
Status Testing phase
Producer Office of Naval Research


The Hyper-Velocity Powder Gun fires a Hyper Velocity Projectile (HVP) from the 5-inch gun (MK 45) mounted on Navy ships or Army Paladins.[2] The HVP is fired at Mach 3 and can travel a distance of approximately 30 nautical miles. This system can act as either a surface-to-surface weapon or a surface-to-air defensive weapon.[3] The HVP fires at half the speed of a rail gun but still fires twice as fast as a traditional powder gun projectile.

The Hyper-Velocity Powder Gun can easily be installed on Navy ships with existing 5-inch guns,[4] and most Navy Cruisers are equipped with two mounted 5-inch guns and Navy Destroyers are equipped with one mounted 5-inch gun. Another positive aspect of this weapon is its’ cost efficiency, each round costs only $25,000-$50,000 compared to millions for traditional missile defense systems.[5]

The Hyper-Velocity Powder Gun is still being tested and is waiting be added to the United States Ballistic Missile Defense arsenal.


[1] https://news.usni.org/2016/07/18/pentagon-new-rounds-old-guns-change-paradigm-missile-defense-navy-army

[2] https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R44175.pdf

[3] https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R44175.pdf

[4] https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R44175.pdf

[5] https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R44175.pdf