32-megajoule Prototype Railgun Fires For The Sixth Time In A Week

Posted: Feb 29 2012, 12:50pm CST | by , in News | Technology News


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Railguns are in testing with the Navy

The United States Navy has been working on railgun prototypes for a while now. The Navy fired a laboratory-sized version of the railgun about 1000 times and has since moved on to the first two industry built prototypes. One of those prototype weapons is in testing with the Navy right now and the other is due to be delivered in April. The Navy has recorded one of the test firings of the 32-megajoule prototype demonstrator constructed by BAE on video.

The second prototype is being constructed by General Atomics. The test firing used bulky, "I-shaped" non-aerodynamic projectiles to help keep them from travelling so far during testing. The Navy plans to test in the future with aerodynamic projectiles for higher speeds. The railgun uses electromagnetic energy to sling projectiles at very high rates of speed.

The Navy projects initial range for the railguns to be 50 to 100 nautical miles and plans to increase that range up to 220 nautical miles. The projectiles used in the railgun have no explosives and use kinetic energy to destroy targets. These prototype railguns are said to be much closer to versions that will actually be installed in ships. The weapon is expected to go into service after 2020.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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