Military developing awesome rail gun

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Military developing awesome rail gun

Talk about a gun aficionado's wet dream, this rail gun will be awesome. Rail gun video link at the end

Normally, new weaponry tends to make defense more expensive. But the Navy likes to say its new railgun delivers the punch of a missile at bullet prices.

A demonstration of the futuristic and comparatively inexpensive weapon yesterday at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren had Navy brass smiling.

The weapon, which was successfully tested in October at the King George County base, fires nonexplosive projectiles at incredible speeds, using electricity rather than gun powder.
The technology could increase the striking range of U.S. Navy ships more than tenfold by the year 2020.

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It's pretty amazing capability, and it went off without a hitch. The biggest thing is it's real--not just something on the drawing board,
said Capt. Joseph McGettigan, commander of NSWC Dahlgren Division.

The railgun works by sending electric current along parallel rails, creating an electromagnetic force so powerful it can fire a projectile at tremendous speed.

Because the gun uses electricity and not gunpowder to fire projectiles, it's safer, eliminating the possibility of explosions on ships and vehicles equipped with it.

Instead, a powerful pulse generator is used.

The prototype fired at Dahlgren is only an 8-megajoule electromagnetic device, but the one to be used on Navy ships will generate a massive 64 megajoules. Current Navy guns generate about 9 megajoules of muzzle energy.

The railgun's 200 to 250 nautical-mile range will allow Navy ships to strike deep in enemy territory while staying out of reach of hostile forces.

Rear Adm. William E. "Bill" Landay, chief of Naval Research, said Navy railgun progress from the drawing board to reality has been rapid.

"A year ago, this was [just] a good idea we all wanted to pursue," he said.

Elizabeth D'Andrea of the Office of Naval Research said a 32-megajoule lab gun will be delivered to Dahlgren in June.

Charles Garnett, project director, called the projectile fired by the railgun "a supersonic bullet," and the weapon itself is "a very simple device."

He compared the process to charging up a battery on the flash of a digital camera, then pushing the button and "dumping that charge," producing a magnetic field that drives the metal-cased ordnance instead of gun powder.

The projectile fired yesterday weighed only 3.2 kilograms and had no warhead. Future railgun ordnance won't be large and heavy, either, but will deliver the punch of a Tomahawk cruise missile because of the immense speed of the projectile at impact.

Garnett compared that force to hitting a target with a Ford Taurus at 380 mph. "It will take out a building," he said. Warheads aren't needed because of the massive force of impact.

 http://fredericksburg.com/N...

Video
 http://fredericksburg.com/N...

I love the way the equipment is anchored to the benches with huge G clamps :)
By netchicken: posted on 15-11-2007








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