Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Got some extra room under you Christmas tree? Have I got the perfect stocking stuffer for you! It fires a 7 pound projectile at 7,875 feet per second. What’s not to love? It’s an electro-magnetic projectile accelerator. OK, it’s a railgun. The launcher is at ONR’s Electromagnetic Launch Facility, located in Virginia at the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Dahlgren Division Laboratory.
A video of the test firing is below the fold.
The goal is a 64 Mega Joule (MJ) (muzzle energy) Electromagnetic Rail Gun (EMRG). One megajoule is the amount of kinetic energy of a 1-ton car traveling at 100 mph. The video is of a recent 33 MJ firing.
The attraction of the railgun is its ability to fire projectiles 10 or more times the distance of conventional naval guns. At these projectile speeds, the friction with the air produces extremely high temperature gasses that the barrel must accommodate before the next round is fired.