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Futuristic Navy railgun with 220-mile range closer to reality
CNET News ^ | 1/30/12 | Daniel Terdiman

Posted on 01/30/2012 12:35:02 PM PST by Nachum

Imagine a Naval gun so powerful it can shoot a 5-inch projectile up to 220 miles, yet requires no explosives to fire. That's the Navy's futuristic electromagnetic railgun, a project that could be deployed on the service's ships by 2025, and which is now a little bit closer to reality with the signing of a deal with Raytheon for the development of what's known as the pulse-forming network. (Snip) At the same time, because the power for the railgun will come from ships' standard battery banks, the Navy shouldn't have to maintain large amounts of space on board for storage

(Excerpt) Read more at news.cnet.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: futuristic; navy; railgun
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Very cool. I want one.
1 posted on 01/30/2012 12:35:11 PM PST by Nachum
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To: Nachum
If it can handle 5 liter mini kegs.. we got a commercial winner too.. :-]


2 posted on 01/30/2012 12:42:08 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Obama: Epic Fail or Bust!!!)
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To: Nachum

The new reactors aboard the USS Ford class carriers have enough pwoer to make this a reality. They also have the powetr to make Laser CIWS a reality which is also already being tested in live fire missions against airborne targets over the water in the Pacific. Around 2016 they expect to have a CIWS Laser System prepared.

Navy Solid State Laseer shoots down aircraft
http://mgitecetech.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/

Some exciting things coming out soon for the US NAvy...if we can keep people like Obama dfrom defunding them precisely when we need them most.

World Wide Aircraft Carriers
http://www.jeffhead.com/worldwideaircraftcarriers/

US Nsvy 21st Century
http://www.jeffhead.com/usn21/

AEGIS Vessels of the World
http://www.jeffhead.com/aegisvesselsoftheworld/

The Rising Sea Dragon in Asia
http://www.jeffhead.com/redseadragon/


3 posted on 01/30/2012 12:43:39 PM PST by Jeff Head (Liberty is not free. Never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: Nachum
Great! Now we can make use of those wind generators and solar panels on our ships too! ;-)
4 posted on 01/30/2012 12:44:23 PM PST by Average Al (Forbidden fruit leads to many jams.)
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To: Nachum

... if we actually have any Navy ships by 2025. Given the Obama-congressional cutbacks I’d say it’ll be a close call.


5 posted on 01/30/2012 12:44:53 PM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: Nachum

I’m no scientist so I have a stupid question. Why does fire trail behind the projectile when no explosives are used to fire the gun?


6 posted on 01/30/2012 12:45:47 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Nachum

Well they can take down a wraith dart pretty good....

7 posted on 01/30/2012 12:47:15 PM PST by GraceG
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To: Nachum

I think we just solved our way of deporting the millions of illegals


8 posted on 01/30/2012 12:47:24 PM PST by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: Nachum
What would be the practical uses? Firing a 5" projectile 220 miles hardly seems worthwhile: the target will have moved, and a 5" round isn't much of a threat to a naval target.

But presumably the same technology could fire a much larger shell, a shorter distance.

9 posted on 01/30/2012 12:47:28 PM PST by Hebrews 11:6 (Do you REALLY believe that (1) God IS, and (2) God IS GOOD?)
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To: colorado tanker

Because the projectile is moving so fast it is heating up the air when it moves through it.

Kinda like re-entry heating.


10 posted on 01/30/2012 12:49:04 PM PST by GraceG
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To: Hebrews 11:6

You could I am guessing shoot many projectiles within a short amount of time as well.

Could be used to take down hostile aircraft as well, plus these move faster than a rocket or guided missle.


11 posted on 01/30/2012 12:52:09 PM PST by GraceG
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To: Nachum

I think they will need energy storage (joules/cm2) very close to what explosives can do for this to be a practical weapon.

And at that energy density, will the electrical storage be safe?

If you make your energy by burning petrol, then you have to have that many joules of petrol plus much more for conversion inefficiencies.

A naval gun, you swing a hollow tube and fire. With this, they must swing the barrel AND the pulse forming networks and cables and cooling to bear.

Worthy research, but there is a reason the Navy went with powder and shells- it’s a very efficient way to launch something.


12 posted on 01/30/2012 12:52:31 PM PST by DBrow
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To: colorado tanker
I’m no scientist so I have a stupid question. Why does fire trail behind the projectile when no explosives are used to fire the gun?

Those who talk don't know, and those who know don't talk.
13 posted on 01/30/2012 12:53:00 PM PST by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: colorado tanker
I’m no scientist so I have a stupid question. Why does fire trail behind the projectile when no explosives are used to fire the gun?

My guess is that some of the projectile is being vaporized in the process of magnetic induction of the projectile. Any of the input electrical energy not translated into forward velocity will be dissipated as heat. Basically like a really big electrical short!

14 posted on 01/30/2012 12:53:07 PM PST by 6SJ7 (Meh.)
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To: Hebrews 11:6

No but it would be one hell of a sniper rifle. Imagine putting a round on the reviewing stand at A’jad’s next military parage.


15 posted on 01/30/2012 12:53:28 PM PST by RitchieAprile
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To: Hebrews 11:6

No but it would be one hell of a sniper rifle. Imagine putting a round on the reviewing stand at A’jad’s next military parade.


16 posted on 01/30/2012 12:53:40 PM PST by RitchieAprile
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To: Tallguy

I like the Navy. We had these all over the place in Iraq...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZN2BdV9w3E&feature=related


17 posted on 01/30/2012 12:55:16 PM PST by gov_bean_ counter (Yo Mitt - Money can't buy you love...)
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To: Hebrews 11:6
Firing a 5" projectile 220 miles hardly seems worthwhile: the target will have moved, and a 5" round isn't much of a threat to a naval target.

It's not the size of the round that counts but the kinetic energy it releases upon impact. And a 5-inch round traveling at high mach can generate a lot of explosive damage when it hits its target. Moreover, they are much safer than cruise missiles (with no flammable propellant), are satellite guided, and a ship can carry a lot more of them---600 being the last I head, as opposed to a couple dozen Tomahawks. This reduces the need for dangerous at-sea replenishment, and the smaller metal slugs are also much cheaper than the missiles.

18 posted on 01/30/2012 12:58:26 PM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: 6SJ7

Whatever it is, watching that gun fire is really impressive.


19 posted on 01/30/2012 12:58:26 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: DBrow
I think they will need energy storage (joules/cm2) very close to what explosives can do for this to be a practical weapon.

And at that energy density, will the electrical storage be safe?

Note that little phrase "pulse forming network" in the article.

And recall that the biggest Navy vessels are powered by nuclear reactors. They have energy storage density comparable to a certain type of explosive device.

20 posted on 01/30/2012 12:58:44 PM PST by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: Hebrews 11:6

Or perhaps be used with a GPS-guided projectile for an extremely precise strike. If they could package electronics and some sort of fin system that would survive the shock of the firing.

}:-)4


21 posted on 01/30/2012 12:59:44 PM PST by Moose4 ("Oderint dum metuant" -- "Let them hate, as long as they fear." (Lucius Accius, c. 130 BC))
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To: colorado tanker

Heat.

Air becomes plasma beyond a certain temp and will glow.


22 posted on 01/30/2012 1:00:17 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: Jeff Head

Obama just wants to hook up all of the Navy’s generators to supply electricity for America’s city.....

I couldn’t believe he suggested using the Navy as a power company in the SOTU. That is as crazy as having someone suggest that NASA make their primary mission the increasing of Arab/Muslim pride.


23 posted on 01/30/2012 1:03:57 PM PST by FreeAtlanta (Liberty and Justice for ALL)
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To: Hebrews 11:6
As I recall, during the late 80's the Navy developed a sabot round for the main battery of the Iowa class battleships which would have allowed a precision guided shell about the weight of a Volkswagen to hit a target from well over 100 miles away. Those ship were withdrawn from service before the system was deployed.
24 posted on 01/30/2012 1:04:03 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Nachum

Good! Now make a big one with gradual acceleration to send capsules with men and cargo orbital. Do it! Now!!


25 posted on 01/30/2012 1:04:22 PM PST by AnTiw1
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To: Nachum

Science Fiction soon to become Science Fact?


26 posted on 01/30/2012 1:04:22 PM PST by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: Hebrews 11:6

Practical uses in include shooting a long way in-shore in support of Marines.
Moving targets can be dealt with using terminal guidance. They are not going to move THAT far.
2. A 5” round moving at Mach 5 is going to make a hell of a dent in whatever it hits. It won’t need and explosive payload. It will have plenty of “explosive effect” when it hits something courtesy of mass and velocity.
3. The 5” gun is pretty much the standard and it is definitely a threat to naval vessels. They don’t build or operate battleships anymore.


27 posted on 01/30/2012 1:04:47 PM PST by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Hebrews 11:6

It’s doubtful these would be dumb-fire shells in practice at that distance. Terminal guidance (GPS or inertial) has been available on ballistic projectiles for many years.

I imagine that a computer would calculate heading and speed, “guesstimate” the target’s expected location, and rely on terminal guidance to make the last minor adjustments to ensure impact.


28 posted on 01/30/2012 1:05:51 PM PST by Heavyrunner (Socialize this.)
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To: Jeff Head

Rail gun pushing a projectile to Mach 5.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1q_rRicAwI


29 posted on 01/30/2012 1:06:46 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Steely Tom
Those who talk don't know, and those who know don't talk.

Some of us actually understand basic physics. That type of acceleration and velocity of mass in air has consequences, like the creation of plasma.

30 posted on 01/30/2012 1:07:10 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I can haz one? Preeeeeeeeese?


31 posted on 01/30/2012 1:08:03 PM PST by Danae (Anailnathrach ortha bhais beatha do cheal deanaimha)
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To: Steely Tom

I think they are shooting for a muzzle energy of 33 Megajoules, compared to the 16in. gun’s 355 Megajoule wallop.


32 posted on 01/30/2012 1:10:33 PM PST by Elderberry
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Assuming a sustained velocity of Mach 5 (which is probably understated over actual capability) means that it’s only four minutes from firing to impact at max range (also probably understated.)

Very impressive.


33 posted on 01/30/2012 1:13:41 PM PST by Heavyrunner (Socialize this.)
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To: Nachum

It’s about time. Man if they don’t get it finished in time and the wraith show up we wont have any defense against them.

JB


34 posted on 01/30/2012 1:18:02 PM PST by thatjoeguy (MAYDAY! MAYDAY! We are so going in ! !)
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To: mamelukesabre

Thanks!


35 posted on 01/30/2012 1:28:18 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Mr. Lucky

I think that would be an excellent use for a Volkswagen!


36 posted on 01/30/2012 1:30:07 PM PST by Hebrews 11:6 (Do you REALLY believe that (1) God IS, and (2) God IS GOOD?)
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To: Nachum
The 5” projectile must cost a fortune. It has to have some kind of GPS system. There is no way a bullet will be able to hit a target that far away considering the atmospheric conditions and calculations required.

This has to be some kind of prototype for something much larger and heavier.

37 posted on 01/30/2012 1:32:11 PM PST by mosaicwolf (Strength and Honor)
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To: Heavyrunner; Timber Rattler; Moose4; Little Ray; Mr. Lucky

Thanks for your helpful and lucid explanations.


38 posted on 01/30/2012 1:34:14 PM PST by Hebrews 11:6 (Do you REALLY believe that (1) God IS, and (2) God IS GOOD?)
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To: Nachum
At the same time, Raytheon and its competitors have to convince the Navy that they've solved all the potential safety problems that can come from having high voltage and high current in close proximity.

It is Monday and not my best day, but huh?
39 posted on 01/30/2012 1:34:42 PM PST by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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To: colorado tanker

Friction. Causes the water in the air to condense. Also the heat generated on the rail will cause smoke.


40 posted on 01/30/2012 1:35:44 PM PST by Vermont Lt (I just don't like anything about the President. And I don't think he's a nice guy.)
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To: Steely Tom

“Note that little phrase “pulse forming network” in the article.”

Note the same phrase in my post!

If you have a 10MJ projectile, your PFNs have to handle much more than that. The caps in your PFN must have a very high energy density to squirt the projectile, or the sheer size will be awkward.

So you might be storing 20 megajoules in those PFNs, at what energy density do they pose a threat? I’ve seen a Maxwell FXR capacitor blow up.

Nuclear can supply the electricity, sure, to charge the caps. Not every ship is nuclear, though. Burning fuel means that you must burn perhaps 40 MJ of fuel to get 20 MJ to the caps and 10 MJ to the projectile.


41 posted on 01/30/2012 1:39:33 PM PST by DBrow
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To: Nachum
Sir Isaac Newton is...
42 posted on 01/30/2012 1:41:07 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: AnTiw1
Good! Now make a big one with gradual acceleration to send capsules with men and cargo orbital. Do it! Now!!

It's what Jerry Bull wanted to do before going to work for Saddam and then getting assassinated by the Mossad.

43 posted on 01/30/2012 1:44:30 PM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: PA Engineer

That one got me scratching my head too. It sounds like the writer thinks a cable carrying high amps and a cable carrying high voltage must not be too close to each other. But what I think the buffoon is referring to is the old saying that high current is not dangerous and high voltage is not dangerous, but put the two together and you have the danger for electrocution.


44 posted on 01/30/2012 1:47:41 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: Nachum

This is a waste and should be canceled
It is a boondogle that should die


45 posted on 01/30/2012 1:50:16 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: Hebrews 11:6

During D-DAY, as the landing at Omaha Beach faltered, Destroyers armed with 5” guns ran up so close to the beach they grounded themselves. The 5” projectiles they used did devastating damage to the vaunted Atlantic Wall and its offensive capacity.

A 5” shell might not be a threat to a battleship, but battleships are a relic of the past. The future Navy will be comprised of smaller, faster ships. A 5” shell might be plenty enough to do big damage.

A modern 5”/54 caliber Mark 45 gun can fire up to 20 5” shells per minute. A railgun would be an UPGRADE on this.

I am a fan of the 5” gun because my father was when he was on a Destroyer in 1946.


46 posted on 01/30/2012 1:54:24 PM PST by LeonardFMason
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To: Hebrews 11:6

During D-DAY, as the landing at Omaha Beach faltered, Destroyers armed with 5” guns ran up so close to the beach they grounded themselves. The 5” projectiles they used did devastating damage to the vaunted Atlantic Wall and its offensive capacity.

A 5” shell might not be a threat to a battleship, but battleships are a relic of the past. The future Navy will be comprised of smaller, faster ships. A 5” shell might be plenty enough to do big damage.

A modern 5”/54 caliber Mark 45 gun can fire up to 20 5” shells per minute. A railgun would be an UPGRADE on this.

I am a fan of the 5” gun because my father was when he was on a Destroyer in 1946.


47 posted on 01/30/2012 1:54:44 PM PST by LeonardFMason
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To: Timber Rattler

I’m ignorant on physics but I think that’s really important. Master getting payloads into orbit on the cheap and we’ve got it all.


48 posted on 01/30/2012 1:56:03 PM PST by AnTiw1
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To: mamelukesabre
That one got me scratching my head too. It sounds like the writer thinks a cable carrying high amps and a cable carrying high voltage must not be too close to each other. But what I think the buffoon is referring to is the old saying that high current is not dangerous and high voltage is not dangerous, but put the two together and you have the danger for electrocution.

I'm not sure that the word "electrocution" is the right order of magnitude in this case.

Here, the consequences of a direct electrocution incident would include fatal blast effects to everyone within a large volume of space filled by the rapidly-expanding cloud of what was left of the molecules that previously comprised the body of the electrocuted individual.

49 posted on 01/30/2012 1:59:39 PM PST by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: colorado tanker

“Why does fire trail behind the projectile when no explosives are used to fire the gun?”

I can tell you where some of it comes from - friction. This 5 inch bullet is still something that only gets a force on it in the first few milliseconds, and then from there, gravity takes over.

Not sure what the speed is, but its gotta to be moving at many times the speed of sound. (This will account for any ‘boom’).

At the speed of sound, the air around the object is going to get hot, so hot that it will make a trail of vapor behind it. The projectile will rub the air, and the water in the air, causing it to heat up and form ‘clouds’ behind it.

What may ALSO happen, though I’m not sure about this bit, is that a rail gun works on electromagnets. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was some plasma forming behind and around the projectile in the first second of flight. Ships are made of metal, but you are creating a magnetic field in order to launch the bullet. Move metal through any magnetic field and you get static (Direct Current type) electricity. Static electricity and lightning are literally the same thing.

Consider that the Earth has a magnetic field around it, and consider that the core of the earth is made of iron and nickel. As the Earth turns inside the magnetosphere, the atmosphere builds up electrical charge. Get enough charged clouds in one place and you end up with lightning.


50 posted on 01/30/2012 2:05:44 PM PST by RinaseaofDs (Does beheading qualify as 'breaking my back', in the Jeffersonian sense of the expression?)
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