The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has selected BAE Systems to develop and demonstrate a hyper velocity projectile (HVP) for the US Navy.
Under the $33.6m Phase 1A programme, BAE Systems will work with United Technologies and Custom Analytical Engineering Systems (CAES) to develop and demonstrate a modular, low drag HVP.
In addition to addressing different missions, the modular design will enable the HVP to be configured for multiple gun systems.
The HVP is a next-generation, guided projectile, compatible with Electromagnetic Railgun, as well as existing 5in and 155mm gun systems.
BAE Systems Weapon Systems vice-president and general manager Chris Hughes said: "The HVP takes the next evolutionary step in providing an affordable, precise, multi-mission capability for multiple gun platforms."
The HVP programme aims to address mission requirements in the areas of naval surface fire support, cruise missile defence, anti-surface warfare and other future naval mission areas.
Configurable for various mission roles and gun systems common, the low drag projectile will provide lethality and performance enhancements to current and future gun systems.
The first phase of the programme intends to develop a concept design as well as development roadmap towards fully guided flight demonstrations.
Attributes of the HVP, such as high-velocity, manoeuvrability and decreased time-to-target, can be combined with accurate guidance electronics to offer low-cost mission effectiveness against current threats for the US Navy as well as the ability to adapt to air and surface threats of the future.
The development work will be carried out by BAE Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota, UTC Aerospace Systems in Vergennes, Vermont and CAES in Flintstone, Maryland.
Due to begin immediately, initial phase work on the HVP is scheduled be completed by June 2014.
Image: US Navy's Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun profile. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.