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Published On: Wed, Feb 11th, 2015

Pentagon reveals new railgun technology

The Navy’s latest weapon is an electromagnetic “railgun” designed to fire projectiles fast and far without using gunpowder as a propellant, the Washington Post reports.

Unveiled at a Navy expo this week, the weapon uses electromagnetic impulses to shoot projectiles at up to seven times the speed of sound, creating a force so powerful that no explosive warheads are needed.

US Navy Railgun  photo/ screenshot Washington Post coverage

US Navy Railgun photo/ screenshot Washington Post coverage

The impact is like “a freight train going through a wall at a hundred miles an hour,” says a top Navy official.

The technology is far cheaper than other missile engagement systems, and should reduce risk on surface ships because explosives aren’t required, Fox News reports.

The railgun draws electricity from a ship and fires projectiles using electromagnetic energy. A sliding metal conductor accelerated by an electrical current, runs along the weapon’s two metal rails, charging up magnetic fields that fire projectiles.

The gun requires 34 mega joules of power to launch a single 23-pound projectile more than 100 miles at Mach 7, and most destroyers don’t have that kind of power in reserve yet, the Navy Timesreports.

The Navy plans to give the weapon its first sea-test during 2016.

In this Jan. 28, 2007 photo, a test slug impacts the target after being fired from the Electromagnetic Railgun laboratory launcher, or railgun at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, in Dahlgren, Va.  (U.S. Navy, John F. Williams)

In this Jan. 28, 2007 photo, a test slug impacts the target after being fired from the Electromagnetic Railgun laboratory launcher, or railgun at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, in Dahlgren, Va.
(U.S. Navy, John F. Williams)

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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