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    US Army Exploring ‘Devastating’ New Weapon For Use In War with Russia

    Updated: April 12, 2017 at 9:55 am EST  See Comments

    Defense One — Were the United States to go to war with Russia, both sides could draw on deadly weapons that the world has never seen on a battlefield. On the Russian side, there are new and smaller tactical nuclear weapons. To counter them, the U.S. Army is taking another look at a “devastating” weapon it first tested in 2013: the Kinetic Energy Projectile, or KEP, a tungsten-based charge moving at three times the speed of sound that can destroy anything in its path.

    “Think of it as a big shotgun shell,” Maj. Gen. William Hix, the Army’s director of strategy, plans & policy, said a few weeks ago at the Booz Allen Hamilton Direct Energy Summit. But unlike a shotgun shell, Hix said, the KEP moves at incredible speeds of “Mach 3 to Mach 6.”

    Randy Simpson, a weapons programs manager at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, explains that kinetic energy projectiles are warheads that “take advantage of high terminal speeds to deliver much more energy onto a target than the chemical explosives they carry would deliver alone.”

    Said Hix: “The way that they [Lawrence Livermore] have designed it is quite devastating. I would not want to be around it. Not much can survive it. If you are in a main battle tank, if you’re a crew member, you might survive but the vehicle will be non-mission capable, and everything below that will level of protection will be dead. That’s what I am talking about.”

    The general emphasized that the exploration was in a conceptual phase and not yet any sort of actual program: “We’re looking at ways we might — key, might — use that capability in one of our existing launch platforms as part of the weapons suite that we have.”


    The remainder of this article is available in its entirety at Defense One

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