engineering careers  US Navy puts its crazy new electromagnetic railgun through its paces
engineering careers  US Navy puts its crazy new electromagnetic railgun through its paces

The United States Navy has put its brand new high-tech railgun through its paces with a series of multi-shot salvos.

The video, posted by the US Office of Naval Research shows a multi-shot salvo test of its electromagnetic railgun. 

“The revolutionary railgun relies on a massive electrical pulse, rather than gunpowder or other chemical propellants, to launch projectiles at distances over 100 nautical miles – and at speeds that exceed Mach 6.” 

The video shows the railgun firing at the Naval Surface Warfare Center testing facility in Virginia.

While the railgun has been in development since 2005 it is not expected to enter service for the foreseeable future.

The initial development phase (2005 to 2012) focused on proof-of-concept demonstrations of the guns 32 mega-joule muzzle energy. Once this was achieved the second phase of development concentrated on demonstrating a rapid repeat rate fire capability.

New methods of thermal management techniques will be required for sustained firing rates. These new technologies will need to be developed for both the launcher system and the pulsed power system to cope with the massive amounts of energy released.

If the team behind the project are able to overcome these technical hurdles the final weapon might be capable of launching a 100+ nautical mile projectile.


More information about the project can be found at onr.navy.mil