Wednesday, December 15, 2010

US Navy Test Fires ElectroMagnetic Cannon

From correspondents in Washington
From: AFP
December 11, 2010 10:39AM
Courtesy Of "The Australian News"

THE US Navy has announced a successful test of an electromagnetic cannon capable of firing a projectile 110 nautical miles (200km) at five times the speed of sound.

"This demonstration moves us one day closer to getting this advanced capability to sea," Rear Admiral Nevin Carr, chief of naval research, said.

Tested at the Navy's Dahlgren Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, the futuristic weapon uses powerful jolts of electric current to propel a non-explosive slug along rails before launching it at supersonic velocities.

The latest test involved a 33-megajoule shot, the most powerful ever attempted and three times that of the previous test in January 2008.

A megajoule is equivalent to the energy released when a one-tonne vehicle slams into a wall at 160km/h.
"Today's railgun test demonstrates the tactical relevance of this technology, which could one day complement traditional surface ship combat systems," Carr said.

"The 33-megajoule shot means the Navy can fire projectiles at least 110 nautical miles, placing sailors and marines at a safe standoff distance and out of harm's way."

He added that "the high velocities achievable are tactically relevant for air and missile defence."

The test model bears little resemblance to a gun. Instead, thick black cables plug into the rear of what looks like a long rectangular grill.

That armature holds the rails together as a powerful electric current surges through them, pushing the slug forward.

NOTE: The Following Video Was Not Part Of The Above Article!

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