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Navy Fires Up Fully-Weaponized (BAE Electromagnetic)Railgun Prototype
DVICE ^ | Feb 28, 2012 | Evan Ackerman

Posted on 02/28/2012 8:40:36 PM PST by DogByte6RER

Navy fires up fully-weaponized railgun prototype

Photobucket

At the end of last month, the Navy got an early Valentine's Day present in the form of a prototype fully-weaponized naval railgun. And on Tuesday, it released a video of its first shot, which we're officially filing under "things not to get in the way of."

This prototype weapon, developed by BAE Systems, fires inert aluminum slugs out of a 40-foot barrel using nothing but megajoules of raw electricity. The giant gout of flame you see in the picture (below) comes from a combination of about a million amps of energy, the hypersonic speed of the round, and the aluminum in the bullet reacting with the atmosphere.

The ultimate goal here is to fire 10 rounds per minute with 32 megajoules of energy each, sending them between 50 and 100 miles downrange with flawless GPS-guided accuracy, at a speed that's so high that when the rounds hit their target, they'll be carrying the equivalent amount of destructive force as a Volkswagen Beetle traveling at 100 mph.

32 times over.

In the video of the test (YouTube link posted below), you'll notice that the payload (the "bullet") is decidedly not streamlined. We know that Boeing has been developing some mean-looking streamlined railgun rounds, but apparently the Navy doesn't want to use them in these tests for fear of accidentally losing control of one and hitting the White House or something, instead opting for brick-like rounds that don't go nearly as far.

In April, General Atomics will deliver a prototype of their railgun design, "Blitzer," to the Navy so that it'll have two of these monsters to play around with. And by 2017, which is another way of saying a quarter of a billion dollars from now, the Navy might actually be ready to start thinking about deployment.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; military; navalresearch; navy; railgun; usn; weapons
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Photobucket

BOOM!

1 posted on 02/28/2012 8:40:47 PM PST by DogByte6RER
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BAE Electromagnetic Railgun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uV1SbEuzFU&feature=player_embedded


2 posted on 02/28/2012 8:41:38 PM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

>>equivalent amount of destructive force as a Volkswagen Beetle traveling at 100 mph.<<

Which would be the first VW Bug to actually hit that speed.


3 posted on 02/28/2012 8:45:55 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: freedumb2003

(You owe me a keyboard)

That there’s funny.


4 posted on 02/28/2012 8:47:14 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network ("The door is open" PALIN 2012)
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To: freedumb2003
equivalent amount of destructive force as a Volkswagen Beetle traveling at 100 mph.

I assume the mean for the driver of the Beetle.

5 posted on 02/28/2012 8:48:23 PM PST by PGR88
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To: DogByte6RER

Me like! Me like!!


6 posted on 02/28/2012 8:48:23 PM PST by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: DogByte6RER

Terrestrial “Rods from God”...or should I say Marine?


7 posted on 02/28/2012 8:49:30 PM PST by Mariner (u)
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To: DogByte6RER

Cool!


8 posted on 02/28/2012 8:49:47 PM PST by Oceander (TINSTAAFL - Mother Nature Abhors a Free Lunch almost as much as She Abhors a Vacuum)
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To: freedumb2003

>>equivalent amount of destructive force as a Volkswagen Beetle traveling at 100 mph.<<

I wouldn’t want to stand in front of one, but it doesn’t seem like that would do much damage to a hardened target.


9 posted on 02/28/2012 8:50:20 PM PST by balch3
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To: freedumb2003

Nonsense. I had one years ago that would do 100MPH no problem.


10 posted on 02/28/2012 8:51:48 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: DogByte6RER
50 and 100 miles downrange with flawless GPS-guided accuracy

Good luck with that! No guidance system known to man can handle that acceleration and keep on functioning. Plenty of systems with far lower velocity/acceleration have proven impossible to function after being subjected to high g-forces.

11 posted on 02/28/2012 8:51:48 PM PST by Fractal Trader
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To: balch3

The story said 32 TIMES the force of a beetle doing 100.


12 posted on 02/28/2012 8:53:33 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: balch3

beetle traveling at 100 mph 32 times over


13 posted on 02/28/2012 8:55:45 PM PST by ruptured duck (He shoots....and boom goes the dynamite!)
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To: DogByte6RER

I wonder why the odd shape? Did anyone see any info about exactly how fast this thing really is moving? Is it more than 5000 ft/sec?


14 posted on 02/28/2012 8:58:32 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: Fractal Trader

Railgun slugs are by definition simple chunks of metal. Even if the electronics could handle the acceleration, they’d be fried by the magnetic field. I think what they’re talking about is how the gun is aimed.


15 posted on 02/28/2012 8:58:49 PM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: DogByte6RER

HA! My series 3 photon raygun makes that look like a puss.Isn’t that right Commander Spock?


16 posted on 02/28/2012 9:00:33 PM PST by baddog 219
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To: DogByte6RER

I wonder how long before they start doing rapid fire? I’d like to see them rip off a couple hundred in under a minute.


17 posted on 02/28/2012 9:00:51 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: freedumb2003
Which would be the first VW Bug to actually hit that speed.

Turbo drag bugs are pretty quick, very embarrassing to Mustangs and Cameros.

18 posted on 02/28/2012 9:01:32 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER ( Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month.)
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To: balch3
I wouldn’t want to stand in front of one, but it doesn’t seem like that would do much damage to a hardened target.

Except take that force and concentrate the impact into an area the size of the round. To put the 32 megajoules in comparison, a .45 only has about 600 joules of kinetic energy. That amount of concentrated energy is staggering.... and that is before the consideration of a rapid succession of these projectiles hitting the same point.

19 posted on 02/28/2012 9:01:57 PM PST by mnehring
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To: freedumb2003

>> “Which would be the first VW Bug to actually hit that speed.” <<

.
Back in the ‘70s I used to do about 120 MPH in one on the sand between Guadalupe and Oceano for the midnight cruise. (engine was somewhat modified)


20 posted on 02/28/2012 9:02:30 PM PST by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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To: Fractal Trader

I would bet the guided accuracy would be based on initial firing, not on continual in flight adjustment like on a missile system. In other words, they would use GPS calculations of the target to feed into the targeting computer. If they could find a way to have continual in-flight adjustments, DARPA has some s*** way beyond anything I could imagine. Calling it GPS-Guided is probably some reporter’s interpretation by not understanding what some technical description meant.


21 posted on 02/28/2012 9:05:58 PM PST by mnehring
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To: mamelukesabre

There’s no way you’d be able to manage the heat from that rate of fire.


22 posted on 02/28/2012 9:07:08 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: mnehring

no kidding. They should call this think the “Atom Gun” because after the real rounds hit something, I think that’s about the biggest piece that will be left.

A nice option til the photon torpedo is available.


23 posted on 02/28/2012 9:08:37 PM PST by bigbob
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To: Fractal Trader
Good luck with that! No guidance system known to man can handle that acceleration and keep on functioning. Plenty of systems with far lower velocity/acceleration have proven impossible to function after being subjected to high g-forces.

It's perfectly technically feasible to have a GPS guided round, and potentially an active seeker for attacking moving targets - was some work during the SDI days on this.

There have been a lot of advancements in solid-state electronics that can survive high-G and magnetic environments.

24 posted on 02/28/2012 9:10:00 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: Strategerist

Never say never. These things will be mounted on ships right? Ships sit on top of a pretty big heat sink if I’m not mistaken.


25 posted on 02/28/2012 9:11:27 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: DogByte6RER

The gun and all related power systems need to be EMP hardened.


26 posted on 02/28/2012 9:12:06 PM PST by GraceG
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To: bigbob
Some of the photos they had of the early 6 megajoule prototypes were heating the air behind it to a plasma. Take this image into consideration that there was no actual explosive used to launch this. (then think about how much more powerful this new one is)..


27 posted on 02/28/2012 9:12:08 PM PST by mnehring
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To: mnehring

They already make guided rounds for very large guns...as in the gun on an A10 warthog. The nose of the bullet has a ball on it that will swivel to act like a nose mounted rudder. It swivels fast to keep up with the spin of the bullet.


28 posted on 02/28/2012 9:13:59 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: mnehring

No, the intention is to actually guide the round in flight.

See this Boeing patent on the projectile:

http://www.google.com/patents?id=_1HGAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

Some old work on a BMD railgun projectile from SDI:

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA345781


29 posted on 02/28/2012 9:13:59 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: balch3
You must have missed the next line in the story, “32 times over”.
30 posted on 02/28/2012 9:14:42 PM PST by Kickass Conservative (New Tagline under construction, please watch your step.)
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To: mamelukesabre

A-10 Warthogs are beautiful.


31 posted on 02/28/2012 9:16:44 PM PST by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: mamelukesabre

Well it’s a trade-off; if the rounds are much smaller and your dumpinng in less power, you can get a higher rate of fire.

But themal management is a huge problem; you won’t be pumping out 32MJ shots to 100 nm at hundreds of rounds a minute, even on a ship.

Key thing is the barrel erosion problems preventing any refiring at all seem to have largely been solved.

We also have the slight problem that we really don’t have a ship to put it on; the DDG 51 Flt III design is horribly cramped and basically filled just by putting the new AMDR radar on; you can get a small railgun on if you delete the 5” and lose a bunch of VLS cells.


32 posted on 02/28/2012 9:17:10 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: balch3

Umm, 32 times over. In an area of 25 square inches or so.


33 posted on 02/28/2012 9:18:21 PM PST by Erasmus (BHO: New supreme leader of the rollin' homey empire.)
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To: Kickass Conservative
Just like I missed the three posts in front of mine saying the same thing. LOL
34 posted on 02/28/2012 9:18:47 PM PST by Kickass Conservative (New Tagline under construction, please watch your step.)
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To: Strategerist

Why does it need a special ship? stick it on a barge for now.


35 posted on 02/28/2012 9:19:55 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: Strategerist

I think that if you look at the history of the 5-inch gun, you will find many references to ill-functioning GPS systems.


36 posted on 02/28/2012 9:20:27 PM PST by Fractal Trader
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To: mnehring

Eh, a lot of that plasma in that is actually a sign that in that old test the railgun wasn’t quite perfected yet; it comes from rail erosion, arc transition between the barrel and armature, and severe arcing at the muzzle, all of which damge the gun.


37 posted on 02/28/2012 9:21:37 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: DogByte6RER

Not exactly your average pocket pistol;)


38 posted on 02/28/2012 9:22:33 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: Fractal Trader

I’m fully aware of the long development saga of the Army Copperhead and Excalibur rounds, and the failure of the Navy’s ERGM and BTERM.

Sometimes things do get figured out eventually. The USN had a UAV ASW helicopter program in the 1960s called DASH - it was a complete falure, 50% crashed within a year or two, and they were replaced with manned helicopters.

Doesn’t mean the Navy shouldn’t be giving it another try today with improved enabling technology.

On the other hand, stuff like the Airborne Laser didn’t work, and there is zero evidence that anything like it will ever work.


39 posted on 02/28/2012 9:27:10 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: DogByte6RER

” .. for fear of accidentally losing control of one and hitting the White House”

Naval Research Lab?


40 posted on 02/28/2012 9:30:37 PM PST by tumblindice (Nuke Hollywood from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.)
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To: DogByte6RER

I think the moon is the only place where solar panels can be effectively used without wasting space and energy.

Install these there and you go yourself a nice launching pad for outer space probes.


41 posted on 02/28/2012 9:35:46 PM PST by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
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To: DogByte6RER
One of the comments on YouTube:

If we didn't invent, make, use, and sell new and better ways to kill people then the entire USA economy would collapse.

I guess that explains why Obama is cutting military R&D.

42 posted on 02/28/2012 9:39:21 PM PST by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: DogByte6RER

Seems like rather than keeping things secret, now we have to let the world know our latest tech developments and plans.


43 posted on 02/28/2012 9:43:11 PM PST by daniel1212 (Trust in the Lord Jesus to save you as a damned+morally destitute sinner ,+ be forgiven+live)
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To: balch3
A VW masses about 2000 lbs, that projectile looks to be maybe 20 lbs, probably less.

The kinetic energy is Mass * Velocity * Velocity / 2.

Mp * Vp * Vp/2 = 32 * Mvw * Vvw * Vvw/2.

solving for Vp yields

Vp=100 Mph * sqrt(32* 2000/20) ~= 5657 mph ~= 8300 feet/second.

No wonder it smokes.

(Yes I know pounds is not a mass unit, but since only the ratio counts it doesn't matter what units are used, as long as they are the same for both masses)

44 posted on 02/28/2012 10:12:17 PM PST by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: mamelukesabre

The 1300’s built to 1776’s were pretty damn fast.


45 posted on 02/28/2012 10:23:32 PM PST by FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs
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To: DogByte6RER

Ping


46 posted on 02/28/2012 10:28:27 PM PST by steel_resolve (Ships With Holes Will Sink And I Will Swim)
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To: El Gato

I’ll wait for the laser version, thank you.


47 posted on 02/28/2012 10:29:13 PM PST by FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs
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To: DogByte6RER
Navy Fires Up Fully-Weaponized (BAE Electromagnetic)Railgun Prototype

Just think about what they could do with one of these guns two miles long, that fired subatomic particles - in space.

(SLAC)


48 posted on 02/28/2012 10:33:58 PM PST by Talisker (He who commands, must obey.)
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To: freedumb2003

Seems like some missed this:

“.. at a speed that’s so high that when the rounds hit their target, they’ll be carrying the equivalent amount of destructive force as a Volkswagen Beetle traveling at 100 mph.”

As in—”32 times over.”


49 posted on 02/28/2012 11:24:32 PM PST by Sea Parrot (You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adam)
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To: DogByte6RER

The article doesn’t give a price for the gun but it sounds like the ammo would be pretty cheap (aluminum blanks).


50 posted on 02/28/2012 11:26:41 PM PST by Heuristic Hiker
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