Pentagon Office Shares Details About Hypervelocity Missile Defense Weapon

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February 26, 2018 | Originally published by Date Line: February 26 on

A new weapon system developed by the Strategic Capabilities Office — a secretive Pentagon agency meant to advance cutting-edge technology — could improve integrated air and missile defense by reducing overall costs and increasing flexibility, said an official Jan. 25.

The technology — known as the hypervelocity gun weapon system, or HGWS — is a small, flexible hypervelocity projectile, said Vince Sabio, program manager for the system.

“That projectile is being designed to engage multiple threats,” he said during a panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. “There may be different modes that it operates in and … we may tell it shortly after it comes out of the gun which type of a threat it is going after, and it will configure itself for that type of threat in terms of the dynamics — how does it maneuver, how does it close on the threat.”

The projectiles can be shot out of Army M144 155 mm howitzers and Navy 5-inch deck guns on destroyers, he noted.

“Any place that you can take a 155, any place that you can take your Navy DDG, you have got an inexpensive, flexible air and missile defense capability,” he said. “For both the Marines and Army, [this is] a new concept which is essentially air and missile defense on the move, or in the Marine sense, expeditionary air and missile defense — something that the military currently does not have and fundamentally needs.”