Hypersonic missile technologies represent a fundamental shift in the way modern wars are waged. These platforms under development in Russia, China, and the United States travel at speeds in excess of Mach 5, making them all but impossible to intercept using existing missile defense systems. The seemingly unstoppable nature of these weapon platforms has forced the launch of a number of new defense initiatives, ranging from carrier-based drone refuelers — to extend Navy aircraft ranges and keep America’s carriers outside missile range — to the Army’s latest strategy: a big ass cannon.

Of course, that’s not the technical term for the Army’s plan to field a massive gun that can fire missiles at targets from 1,000 miles away — they’ve saddled it with the unoriginal title of Strategic Long-Range Cannon (SLRC), which, while lacking the dramatic flair of a Musk-helmed project (SpaceX’s forthcoming BFR rocket was originally named for an acronym that started with Big and ended with Rocket), offers an accurate description of the technology.

The Army only recently managed to bridge the capability gap between American self-propelled howitzers and those fielded by Russian forces, who have boasted a range of nearly double the American platform for years now. That technological advancement means American artillery can now strike targets as far away as forty miles, which, while impressive, also serves as a sobering reminder of just how massive an undertaking the development of a 1,000-mile cannon really can be.

The Army’s strategy for countering the threat posed by hypersonic missiles is two-fold: an as-yet-unnamed hypersonic weapon of their own will be used to target and destroy the most dangerous targets (which would likely be enemy hypersonic launch platforms). From there, the SLRC would step in, firing volleys of slower and far less expensive missiles at targets that are considered “softer,” such as radar installations and anti-aircraft assets. This one-two punch could potentially clear the way for American carriers to approach and begin launching sorties of aircraft tasked with air-to-surface operations that could beat back an enemy force and allow American ground forces to advance.