The US Navy has added another gem into their already imposing military might, an electromagnetic railgun that can fire projectiles six times the speed of sound!
The electromagnetic railgun is dubbed as ‘Star Wars ‘ technology by researchers, and the missiles don’t use any chemicals to fire. Instead, they solely utilize electricity to create strong magnetic fields and a ‘pulse power system’ to send propellants as fast as 4,500mph.
The technology has been tested to penetrate concrete over 100 miles away, and use kinetic and laser energies to replace the classic controlled explosives.
‘The railgun is a true warfighter game changer,’ the Navy says.
‘Wide-area coverage, exceptionally quick response, and very deep magazines will extend the reach and lethality of ships armed with this technology.’
The first test of the technology was conducted two months back, and the latest tests at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in Virginia flaunt the weapon’s ability to fire multi-shot salvos. The researchers are now looking to take the firing rate to a whopping 10-rounds-per-minute.
As shown in the video below, when the weapon is fired, it leaves a cloud of smoke. This happens because it super heats and vaporizes the air around it due to its tremendous speed, while generating a sonic boom and breaking the sound barrier. As it uses no chemicals, it minimizes the risks of keeping explosives on a ship.
An electric pulse is used to create an electromagnetic force which thrusts the projectile at Mach 6 or 4,500 mph.
The Department of the Navy’s Science and Technology corporate board spoke on the Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) building about this EM Railgun. According to the Office of Naval Research,
‘A future weapon system at this energy level would be capable of launching a 100+ nautical mile projectile’.
In warfare, the EM railgun can be used to strike down targets on land, sea, or air with pin point accuracy, while it also provides greater transport safety over traditional explosives.
‘This is so important in terms of maintaining naval dominance and in ensuring the United States has absolute naval, maritime superiority going forward in the future,’ added Fox’s Barrie.
Watch it in action in the video below!