Announced on July 19, the new program is called Hyper Velocity Projectile, and the Navy hopes that researchers will find a way to design bullets that will work both with naval artillery guns like the Mark 45 and its rail guns, weapons that will hasten “the end of the dominance of the missile,” Adm. Gary Roughead, the former top officer in the Navy, told Danger Room in 2011.
The Navy doesn’t only want the bullets to be super fast, it hopes to be able to steer and guide them in mid-air. The proposal refers to this capability as “potential in-flight retargeting.”
These new bullets, according to the proposal, will have to be 24 inches long and weigh around 20 to 30 pounds. They should also have the same reach as the current ones used by 5” Mark 45 Mod guns and reach farther away than 30 miles. Bullets that will be used by Mach-8 rail guns are expected to reach even further,perhaps even 200 miles.