The US Department of Defense has been showcasing a new experimental railgun capable developed by the U.S. Navy. It is capable of rapidly firing projectiles at staggering velocities without the need for explosives.
The gun can fire projectiles at a target at speeds approaching 4,500 MPH, up to 10 times per minute. The technology is designed for long range targets and uses powerful electromagnetic fields rather than conventional chemical propellants. By avoiding a chemical component the system is able to avoid the risk keeping violate substances on the ship which makes it safer to store.
The U.S Navy believe the system can be used to neutralise a range of targets both at sea, in the air and on land. The latest set of changes to the weapons design have increased its range from 38 to 100 nautical miles.
How RailGuns Work?
The next step of Engineering Challenges will include modifications to make the system suitable for missile defence, where current high-technology solutions are very expensive. The high velocity of the railgun means that it should be able to strike missiles from far way.
The most impressive Engineering on show comes in the form of the guidance system. Unlike other “mass driven” projectiles, the new system is able to guide projectiles after they launch by housing small electronic components within the “bullets”, impressive considering the incredibly immense acceleration these components must work under.
The gun will require a 25 Megawatt Generator to fire. Equivalent to almost 19,000 homes. The US has earmarked $1 billion for its development and is now extending that upto $1.8 billion.