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Friday, February 10, 2012

Ruin on Rails: The US Navy’s Rail Gun Project

Ruin on Rails: The US Navy’s Rail Gun Project

Ruin on Rails: The US Navy’s Rail Gun Project
Related Stories: Americas - USA, BAE, Boeing, Britain/U.K., Contracts - Awards, Design Innovations,FOCUS Articles, General Atomics, Guns - Naval, Laser & EM Weapons, New Systems Tech, R&D - Contracted, Surface Ships - Combat, T&C - SAIC, University-related
Rail Gun concept
The concept
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Power system contracts to GA, BAE; 1,000th shot; CNR discusses the field; Significant article updates. (Dec 9/11)

Back in March 2006, BAE Systems received a contract for “design and production of the 32 MJ Laboratory Launcher for the U.S. Navy.” Some hint of what they are talking about can be gleaned from the name. The project is an electro-magnetic rail gun that accelerates a projectile to incredibly high speeds without using explosives.

The attraction of such systems is no mystery – they promise to fire their ammunition 10 or more times farther than conventional naval gun shells, while sharply reducing both the required size of each shell, and the amount of dangerous explosive material carried on board ship. Progress is being made, but there are still major technical challenges to overcome before a working rail gun becomes a serious naval option. This DID FOCUS article looks at the key technical challenges, the programs, and the history of key contracts and events…

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