This Electromagnetic Railgun Can Hit a Target Over 100 Nautical Miles Away

Kathleen Villaluz

In this modern day and age of warfare technology, it is indeed difficult to keep up with the latest weaponry systems and ammunitions especially if you're not inclined with the politics of war. But there is, however, one noteworthy weapon you may find interesting for the sake of some combat action. Watch as the U.S. Navy conduct a test fire on their under-development electromagnetic railgun weapon.

This mighty weapon is developed by BAE Systems for the U.S. Navy and is known to most as the electromagnetic railgun. Smaller than conventional cannons, this weapon is also handy to carry around a warship as it doesn't use gunpowder or chemical propellants. It has the ability to fire a projectile of up to 4,600 mph, around the same speed unit of Mach 6, and can potentially hit a target over 100 nautical miles away. One of the startling fact about this gun is that the government has spent an extortion amount, exceeding $500 million, over a decade worth of development and testing. How does it work then?

By storing power coming from an outside source for several seconds, very much like a ship, the gun is able to work its magic. Once the weapon is charged up with 32 megajoules of energy, the capacitors send a powerful electric pulse down two long rails, negatively and positively charged, which produce an electromagnetic field that fires the ammo along the two rails. The ammo is a 25-pound, non-explosive projectile filled with tungsten pellets packed inside an aluminum casing, that falls away after the ammo leaves the barrel. In order to give the electromagnetic railgun missile-defense capabilities, the Navy is working on resistant electronics that can be placed inside the projectile so the weapon can be aimed using GPS technology.