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Navy test fires futuristic electromagnetic 'railgun' - With Video!

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posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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Navy test fires futuristic electromagnetic 'railgun' - With Video!


rawstory.com

The US Navy test fired the world's most powerful electromagnetic railgun Thursday, launching a projectile at a velocity of 2,500 meters per second, or 5,600 miles per hour, into a bunker.

The test marks the latest step in US efforts to develop a futuristic naval gun that can hit a target more than 200 nautical miles away with a non-explosive slug traveling at between five and seven times the speed of sound.

Instead of chemical propellants, the railgun uses electromagnetic energy to propel a slug along rails before launching it at a velocity of about Mach 7, officials said.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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This is one powerful weapon!

The US again leads the way in weapon development, with this test.

My only concern, is WHY these weapons are needed.

With a reported 67% of the US budget going on defense, while people are homless, without medical care, without adequate food and with a crumbling infrastructure, is there really a necessity for spending untold billions on yet more pwerful weapons?

rawstory.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 12:45 PM
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Currently the story is 'range of 200 nautical miles' but it goes on to say that they are not concentrating on the range of the weapon 'yet'

The thought of something like this, mounted on a space platform in orbit is disturbing. Imagine the ability to launch a huge projectile at a target any where on earth at an initial velocity of 6000mpg from space.

Could this amount of energy be produced on a space platform from a small nuclear energy source? I'm sure rate of fire might be very slow, but could a bank of capacitors be charged in this manner. Since there is no 'explosion' I would think no recoil, therefore no chance of knocking the platform out of it's orbit



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 04:21 AM
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Originally posted by budski
My only concern, is WHY these weapons are needed.


To destroy? To scare? To kill? To have something better place to put money on than to poor and starving? I don't get this weapon lunacy either. Nuclear weapons, they're pretty much all you need to be fearsome nation that others don't want to bug.. So why continuously invent new weaponry? It is indeed lunacy.

While it's a cool gun with fancy effects and quite many future applications, it is for killing. And I don't get why people allow they tax money to go into such projects?



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 04:43 AM
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reply to post by v01i0
 


It is not lunacy it is more of a thing like "if i dont do it someone else will" and nuclear weapons are political tools, whereas this thing would let you flatten a city and send in troops with no fear of radiation



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 05:43 AM
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reply to post by Pro-genetic
 


You still have your conventional weaponry
I mean, isn't it enough, why put billions and billions on new military technology?

Oh I forgot: it's teh complex.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 05:50 AM
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Conventional weaponry is not nearly enough, look at it this way, your brothers and neighbours will have less people shooting at them(assuming there not on the recieving end of this space gun), and throught human history weapons have evolved to distance men from what they are killing, from rock to sword to pike to bow to gun, its a psychological thing! Not that i could bring myself to kill another person, not on any religous grounds its just that what right do i have to take a life



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 05:50 AM
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Conventional weaponry is not nearly enough, look at it this way, your brothers and neighbours will have less people shooting at them(assuming there not on the recieving end of this space gun), and throught human history weapons have evolved to distance men from what they are killing, from rock to sword to pike to bow to gun, its a psychological thing! Not that i could bring myself to kill another person, not on any religous grounds its just that what right do i have to take a life


XL5

posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:03 AM
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I think some terminology in that story is mixed up either purposely or accidentally. The reason I say this is because there is FIRE behind the projectile and not plasma. There is also a burst of fire as the projectile hits the target, which does not happen with pure kinetic energy and a non-explosive projectile/target. The projectile does not look sharp as it leaves the barrel as it did as it was loaded into the "plastic" sabot, the sabot had a metal pipe wrap around it so it kept its shape. I did not see any wires or even rails inside the bore at all. I would also assume the sabot is non conductive, so the high voltage would be impaired somewhat

There are THREE types of guns people get confused with when talking about rail guns. The first type was a gun/cannon that sat on TRAIN rails and used explosives to thrust the projectile.

www.answers.com...

The second type is an electromagnetic rail gun, where a set of conductive rails are connected to large capacitor banks and a conductive slug is sent inbetween the rails. Lots of plasma and sparks happen and the rails need to be replaced after a small amount of shots, but there is no "fire". There is also RECOIL, for EVERY action there is an equal and opposite reaction, including electromagnetic rails/circuits. Even baseball pitching machines have recoil and they don't use explosives.

www.powerlabs.org...

The third type is a coil gun that uses coils of copper wire and control circuits to accelerate a magnetic projectile using pulses of 800V or less (mosfet/IGBT/SCR/transistor controlled). The coil gun will not make plasma and not much of a bang. It also has recoil.

www.powerlabs.org...

I think that whats shown in the video on rawstory is a fake (purposely) or is a redesign of a railway gun but because of some sci-fi and videogames, the site that did the writeup got confused or lied.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 07:20 AM
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Originally posted by v01i0

Originally posted by budski
My only concern, is WHY these weapons are needed.


To destroy? To scare? To kill? To have something better place to put money on than to poor and starving? I don't get this weapon lunacy either. Nuclear weapons, they're pretty much all you need to be fearsome nation that others don't want to bug.. So why continuously invent new weaponry? It is indeed lunacy.

While it's a cool gun with fancy effects and quite many future applications, it is for killing. And I don't get why people allow they tax money to go into such projects?


Have you never played Metal Gear Solid?


In MGS1 (Metal Gear Solid 1) DARPA has built a new walking battle tank that has a rail gun on one arm (among other things). With this rail gun, they intend to launch a nuclear war. from anyplace on earth to anyplace on earth without detection.

You see, without the giant missle and flaming hot exaust comming out the rear, it would be undetectable to radar. In other words, a stealth nuclear missile.

Of course, if this thing only had a range of 200 miles, then certain things from the game might not be the same in real life (besides the fact that they don't have a nuclear powered walking battle tank to mount the rail gun on), like they can't hit anywhere on the planet (unless they shoot it into space and have it orbit around until get's close to it's target).

I'm guessing that might be one reason, among the reasons they mentioned in the text on the site. If you bother to go and read the article, it tells you why. They want to have greater range with their guns, and they want to reduce the amount of space the guns take up (like the gun powder and so on).



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 07:48 AM
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Mount this concept on an underwater boat and you would have an awesome threat deterrent indeed.
Or it could bring back into play modern era battleships.

Our greatest and most feared military asset is the one our enemies cannot find, cannot easily kill and they cannot match in quality. Submarines.

My initial thought was could this actually be art becoming fact like the sci-fi novels of Bolos? Having huge AI controlled battle tanks capable of kinetic weapons that reach out to space?



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by budski


This is one powerful weapon!

The US again leads the way in weapon development, with this test.

My only concern, is WHY these weapons are needed.

With a reported 67% of the US budget going on defense, while people are homless, without medical care, without adequate food and with a crumbling infrastructure, is there really a necessity for spending untold billions on yet more pwerful weapons?


Where are you getting that 67% figure? The highest one that I've seen is around 57%, and to get that, the folks who published the numbers had to add in veterans' benefits, 'military portions from other departments' that were in no way explained, and 80% of the interest on the national debt (which would only be accurate from an accounting standpoint if military spending represented 80% of the non-interest budget). I don't like the 'official' figure because it leaves out several things that should be there, but I have a sneaking suspicion that 67% represents some really creative accounting.

You could also make the case that military spending helps keep people from becoming homeless...after all, that money doesn't just vanish...it goes to companies, why pay suppliers, and workers, and even occasionally pay taxes...but that's a whole different discussion.

As for why such advanced weapons are needed, you can look at two things. One is the increasing age of the equipment in service. The F-15 first flew in 1972, the USS Enterprise will turn 50 on Monday (Keel laid 4 Feb, 1958). Every major weapon system in inventory is getting a bit 'long in the tooth', and eventually will need replacement, just to maintain a viable defense.

Another factor is the decreasing size of the military. The Navy is operating fewer ships, and the Air Force, fewer planes. Procurement cycles are getting longer, and prices are spiraling, which just drives the number of units lower. Under those conditions, the traditional American response has been (at least post-WW-II) to emphasize quality over quantity...thus the need for the best weapons and electronics.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by v01i0

Originally posted by budski
My only concern, is WHY these weapons are needed.


To destroy? To scare? To kill? To have something better place to put money on than to poor and starving? I don't get this weapon lunacy either. Nuclear weapons, they're pretty much all you need to be fearsome nation that others don't want to bug.. So why continuously invent new weaponry? It is indeed lunacy.

While it's a cool gun with fancy effects and quite many future applications, it is for killing. And I don't get why people allow they tax money to go into such projects?


I can only try to imagine the reaction to an American announcement that we were dismantling all of our conventional forces, and would, from date forward, respond to any action perceived as a threat to our national interest with nuclear weapons. The outcry would be deafening, and there would be folks wanting to lynch the President and the Congress.

There is a concept called "appropriate force". Nukes aren't always the answer, for a variety of reasons. As an example, look at Desert Storm or Kosovo. Precision-guided conventional munitions were more than enough to accomplish the mission. You'd rather we had neutralized the Iraqi air defense HQ with a nuke? Perhaps NATO should have shut Milosevic's armed forces down with tactical mushroom clouds? Newer, more powerful, more precise weapons will actually reduce collateral damage, and allow a smaller (and in the long run) less expensive military cover its obligations.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by pavlovsdog
Currently the story is 'range of 200 nautical miles' but it goes on to say that they are not concentrating on the range of the weapon 'yet'

The thought of something like this, mounted on a space platform in orbit is disturbing. Imagine the ability to launch a huge projectile at a target any where on earth at an initial velocity of 6000mpg from space.

Could this amount of energy be produced on a space platform from a small nuclear energy source? I'm sure rate of fire might be very slow, but could a bank of capacitors be charged in this manner. Since there is no 'explosion' I would think no recoil, therefore no chance of knocking the platform out of it's orbit


Thats basically what they plan on doing. Theyre called kinetic strike platforms that can hit any point on the planet within minutes. I think space will eventually make bombers obsolete.

Rods from God

Heres a few more links.
www.weeklystandard.com...

www.sfgate.com.../c/a/2006/03/12/INGS6HID5A1.DTL


This technology is very far out—in miles and years. A pair of satellites orbiting several hundred miles above the Earth would serve as a weapons system. One functions as the targeting and communications platform while the other carries numerous tungsten rods—up to 20 feet in length and a foot in diameter—that it can drop on targets with less than 15 minutes’ notice. When instructed from the ground, the targeting satellite commands its partner to drop one of its darts. The guided rods enter the atmosphere, protected by a thermal coating, traveling at 36,000 feet per second—comparable to the speed of a meteor. The result: complete devastation of the target, even if it’s buried deep underground. (The two-platform configuration permits the weapon to be “reloaded” by just launching a new set of rods, rather than replacing the entire system.)


36,000 ft per second!!!!!

I know that they plan on putting this rail gun on the navys brand spanking new DD-X destroyers...Ive also heard that they would like to make armored vehicles like tanks, strykers etc, that are fitted with one of these bad boys in the future.


[edit on 2-2-2008 by West Coast]



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by budski


This is one powerful weapon!

The US again leads the way in weapon development, with this test.

rawstory.com
(visit the link for the full news article)


I'm sorry, Us Brits have had a working and consistant Rail Gun built by the Defence Research Agency for around a decade now... US is just playing catch up again.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:23 PM
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Originally posted by Vowles

Originally posted by budski


This is one powerful weapon!

The US again leads the way in weapon development, with this test.

rawstory.com
(visit the link for the full news article)


I'm sorry, Us Brits have had a working and consistant Rail Gun built by the Defence Research Agency for around a decade now... US is just playing catch up again.


Not that im aware of..Do you by chance have a source that validates your claim?



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 07:04 PM
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www.newscientist.com...
There's the proof you need
Ye Americans think yer a. of the curve on everything, well let me tell you that you aint, the only thing you have that is currently better than anything thing the E.U. has is stealth, other wise it's the Europe all the way(not meant to start a flame war....im just letting you know)



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by Pro-genetic
www.newscientist.com...
There's the proof you need
Ye Americans think yer a. of the curve on everything, well let me tell you that you aint, the only thing you have that is currently better than anything thing the E.U. has is stealth, other wise it's the Europe all the way(not meant to start a flame war....im just letting you know)


I saw nothing in the source that validates the original claim that europe invented it. Just that it received funds from the US, which makes me think that it was all in collaboration.

Further more, the US is currently the only one to my knowledge, that is testing, and actually has video of evidence of such tests, that shows a working "rail gun". Not only that, but the US is the one, as has been witnessed as of late, to braking records in the mega joule range.

Perhaps you could find a more up to the date follow up of such a program in europe?

The rest of your post reeks of national-over-pride.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 07:31 PM
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After a quick search through wiki I came across this.


Full-scale models have been built and fired, including a very successful 90 mm bore, 9 megajoules (6.6 million foot-pounds) kinetic energy gun developed by DARPA, but they all suffer from extreme rail damage and need to be serviced after every shot. Rail and insulator ablation issues still need to be addressed before railguns can start to replace conventional weapons. Probably the most consistently successful system was built by the UK's Defence Research Agency at Dundrennan Range in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. This system has now been operational for over 10 years at an associated flight range for internal, intermediate, external and terminal ballistics, and is the holder of several mass and velocity records.


Can anyone muster any more info on it?

To my knowledge, the US is the only one i guess interested in fielding this technology on the battlefield.

[edit on 2-2-2008 by West Coast]



posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by pavlovsdog
Since there is no 'explosion' I would think no recoil, therefore no chance of knocking the platform out of it's orbit

"Every action has a reaction" applies? either the magentized railgun assembly will push itself back away from the amuniition, it must be mounted to send the projectile forward.. I would think..

[edit on 4-2-2008 by mindping]
My garden hose out front of my house produces no 'explosion' yet I feel recoil when I spray my car.

[edit on 4-2-2008 by mindping]



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