Navy test fires electromagnetic cannon

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

Electromagnetic Pulse

PhysOrg

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

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 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour.

“Today’s railgun test demonstrates the tactical relevance of this technology, which could one day complement traditional surface ship combat systems,” Carr said.

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