Sci-Fi Technology: Designed by BAE Systems the Infamous Rail Gun Becomes a Reality!
For many, including myself their first exposure to the infamous “Rail Gun” was a theoretical weapon in science fiction or video games. Specifically, the first time I was exposed to the idea of one was in the first-person-shooter video game “Doom 2” on our family PC ca 1995. It was pretty much the baddest gun in the game, making minced-meat of blob monsters and red-eye demons.
Apparently, Uncle Sam is a gamer too. The real-deal Electromagnetic Railgun made its public debut this week at the Navy’s Future Force Science and Technology Expo in Washington D.C. and it is literally blowing people’s minds! Built by BAE Systems, the gun will launch a projectile more than 100 nautical miles at a muzzle velocity up to Mach 7.5 (5,750 mph) and impacting the target at Mach 5 (3836 mph).
What the heck is a Rail gun…really?
Basically it’s a big gun that shoots a projectile, the difference is it uses electromagnetic pulse to move the “bullet” instead of explosives, like gunpowder.
From Wikipedia: A railgun is an electromagnetic projectile launcher based on similar principles to the homopolar motor. A railgun uses a pair of parallel conductors, or rails, along which a sliding armature is accelerated by the electromagnetic effects of a current that flows down one rail, into the armature and then back along the other rail.
From BAE Systems:
Electromagnetic Railgun The Electromagnetic Railgun (EM Railgun) is an advanced containment technology demonstrator, capable of 32 Megajoules (MJs) of muzzle energy. In conjunction with the EM Railgun, hypersonic projectiles and pulse forming networks for power generation are also being researched and developed. On 10 December 2010, the U.S. Navy made history at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Dahlgren Division with the BAE Systems developed Laboratory Railgun. A 33-MJ shot was fired, the energy equivalent of 110 nmi range. When fully weaponized, the EM Railgun will deliver hypervelocity projectiles in support of U.S. Marines, ground forces, and ship defense. The EM Railgun technology uses high-power electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants (energetics) to propel a projectile farther and faster than any preceding gun. At full capability, the EM Railgun mounted on U.S. naval vessels will be able to fire a projectile 100 nautical miles at a muzzle velocity up to Mach 7.5 and impacting the target at Mach 5. The high-velocity projectile will destroy land, sea, and air targets due to its kinetic energy, rather than with conventional explosives.
The safety aspect of the railgun is one of the greatest potential advantages of the EM Railgun. No propellant is required to fire the projectile, and no explosive rounds are stored in the ship’s magazine. The EM Railgun represents significant advances in U.S. Navy and Marine Corps capabilities, extends the range of U.S. Marine Corps combat capability and distributed operations, as well as improves safety aboard surface ships.
The EM Railgun is just one more leapahead technology in which BAE Systems is involved. For more information visit: https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/product/electromagnetic–em–railgun
FLASHBACK: Don’t Forget that Rail Gun from Doom 2!
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