By Evan Ackerman
Remember how the US Navy decided that it wanted an electromagnetic railgun like two years ago? Now, they’ve got one that looks to me like it works pretty well if the above pics are any indication. Instead of using gunpowder to accelerate a shell, a railgun uses magnetic fields, which means it’s a lot less messy, and you can dump tons of juice in and get the shell going damn fast… If you’ve got a little over 10 megajoules as with this demonstration model, you’re looking at 5,600 mph. When the system is completed, it’ll be firing shells with over six times that energy (well over 13,000 mph) using 64 megajoules of energy. To give you a sense of scale, an 8 megajoule test shot has an impacting force that the Navy describes as being the equivalent of “hitting a target with a Ford Taurus at 380 mph.” Plus, the gun should be able to hit a 5 meter target from 200 nautical miles away while pumping out 10 rounds per minute.
One more vid, and links to high res pics, after the jump.
Look for this weapon to be ready for deployment sometime between 2020 and 2025.