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A missile punch at bullet prices

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posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 07:30 PM
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By MICHAEL ZITZ

Normally, new weaponry tends to make defense more expensive. But the Navy likes to say its new railgun delivers the punch of a missile at bullet prices.

A demonstration of the futuristic and comparatively inexpensive weapon yesterday at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren had Navy brass smiling.

The weapon, which was successfully tested in October at the King George County base, fires nonexplosive projectiles at incredible speeds, using electricity rather than gun powder.

The technology could increase the striking range of U.S. Navy ships more than tenfold by the year 2020.


fredericksburg.com...

mod edit: cut down length of link, keep the length of the quote down please and please comment on the article you have presented

[edit on 19-1-2007 by UK Wizard]




posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 10:15 PM
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Incredible stuff, remmeber posting a thread about this here a few years ago, when the concept was juust on the drawing board. Now i seems that within a decade it will become a practical weapon finally eliminating the need for propeelant charges.
I imagine this would allow warships to carry a far greater load of ordnance with teh space savings.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:10 AM
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I imagine this would allow warships to carry a far greater load of ordnance with teh space savings.


Probably place of propellant will now be occupied by powerful generators.



The railgun's 200 to 250 nautical-mile range will allow Navy ships to strike deep in enemy territory while staying out of reach of hostile forces.


What if hostile forces will be equiped with railguns as well by that time?

[edit on 19-1-2007 by ArcPeter]



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:26 AM
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Heres some more info on the rail gun, with a few pics too. Nothin special though.
www.military.com...

Amazing, from zero to 13,000 MPH in 0.2 Seconds



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:35 AM
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Originally posted by semperfoo
Heres some more info on the rail gun, with a few pics too. Nothin special though.
www.military.com...

Amazing, from zero to 13,000 MPH in 0.2 Seconds



PS. 200-250 miles covers all of North Korea.




And who knows for sure if that is the 'real' range of this weapon. Im betting its range is even greater.



[edit on 123131p://3901am by semperfoo]



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 08:21 AM
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but what about when you want high explosive shells? In other words when you bombard infantry.



posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 05:25 PM
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Railguns are nothing new but they are my faveroute weapon without a doubt, the only real problems I believe are coolant (Firing something at mach 2+ will make them rails rather warm) and getting a kilovolt of electricity, but for ship board gennies that operate 6.6kv motors a kilovolt shouldnt be too stressful.



posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 05:43 PM
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They say the railgun has a range of 300 NM but there are very very limiting capabilities to range.

There's terrain.

There's visual targeting.

What will direct your shot? The Satellites? In war can a sattelite verify targets? Can it verify targets when they are vulnerable?

The answers are no...

This isn't a miracle weapon, ballistic weapons have problems.



posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp
Railguns are nothing new but they are my faveroute weapon without a doubt, the only real problems I believe are coolant (Firing something at mach 2+ will make them rails rather warm) and getting a kilovolt of electricity, but for ship board gennies that operate 6.6kv motors a kilovolt shouldnt be too stressful.


Tain't just the voltage, it's the total energy in the shot.

64 megajoules is a lot of electrical energy. If you don't count in losses (I'm not sure how efficient a railgun is) then if you had an LM500 ATGS devoted just to firing one (1) railgun, you couldn't cycle it faster than about 30 seconds. Personally, I'm betting about 30% losses so you're probably looking at nearer 45 seconds a shot.



posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 06:17 PM
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What do they say about their firing time?



posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by Tom Bedlam
Tain't just the voltage, it's the total energy in the shot.

64 megajoules is a lot of electrical energy. If you don't count in losses (I'm not sure how efficient a railgun is) then if you had an LM500 ATGS devoted just to firing one (1) railgun, you couldn't cycle it faster than about 30 seconds. Personally, I'm betting about 30% losses so you're probably looking at nearer 45 seconds a shot.


Yes the charging up of capacitors would be the biggest problem, but electronics is evolving faster and faster every day. Personally I could see the losses of a railgun being MUCH higher than 30%, but hey even just one slug a minute is not bad considering the power of even one slug.



posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 06:46 PM
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Again - what does the inventors say about this weapon's capabilities?



posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 07:01 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp

Yes the charging up of capacitors would be the biggest problem, but electronics is evolving faster and faster every day. Personally I could see the losses of a railgun being MUCH higher than 30%, but hey even just one slug a minute is not bad considering the power of even one slug.


The electronics will need to be pretty impressive, but the raw energy is an issue. However, you have these really useful ATGS jet engine generators that are being built for the new missile frigates, all ready to go. I wonder what they're actually using?

I'll have to see if I know anyone working on the project.


Again - what does the inventors say about this weapon's capabilities?


That article really DOESN'T say anything about firing cyclic rate. Nonetheless, they DO say that they plan to get to 64 megajoules per shot. That gives you at least a starting point to calculate that rate, based on current generation capabilities. The LM500 is a compact jet turbine generator used by the Navy currently. There are larger GE ATGS's as well, but they're godawfully big.



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 02:18 PM
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What would be the accuracy of these? I assume they wouldn't be "smart," and it seems exceedingly difficult to aim a projectile from an ocean going ship from 250 miles away. Am I wrong in these assumptions?

It just seems in this day of electronic media and America as the bad guy, we wouldn't want to use this weapon in a lot of the "limited" conflicts that we are probably more willing to fight. Would obviously be useful against a North Korea or China, sicne presumably if US went to war with them the scope of the war would ake everyone less concerned about civilian casulties. But not sure what its other applications would be.



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 02:32 PM
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Originally posted by XBadger
What would be the accuracy of these? I assume they wouldn't be "smart," and it seems exceedingly difficult to aim a projectile from an ocean going ship from 250 miles away. Am I wrong in these assumptions?

It just seems in this day of electronic media and America as the bad guy, we wouldn't want to use this weapon in a lot of the "limited" conflicts that we are probably more willing to fight. Would obviously be useful against a North Korea or China, sicne presumably if US went to war with them the scope of the war would ake everyone less concerned about civilian casulties. But not sure what its other applications would be.


Actually, the accuracy of a big Naval gun is amazingly high. Even back in WW2, there were all sorts of analog computers that took distance, windage and the ship's motion into account.

The goal for these, I think, is that they will develop in-slug electronics that can survive the acceleration of firing. There will be little "fins" that are used to direct the shell to target. I am wondering how they keep it from tumbling without spin stabilization. Heh. Maybe they've got another set of coils around the rails that spin the shell like a motor on its way out.




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