The Office of Naval Research is now bringing the electromagnetic rail gun out of the laboratory and into field demonstrations at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division’s new rail gun Rep-Rate Test Site at Terminal Range.
“Initial rep-rate fires (repetition rate of fires) of multi-shot salvos already have been successfully conducted at low muzzle energy. The next test sequence calls for safely increasing launch energy, firing rates and salvo size,” a statement from ONR says.
Railgun rep-rate testing will be at 20 megajoules by the end of the summer and at 32 megajoules by next year. To put this in perspective; one megajoule is the equivalent of a one-ton vehicle moving at 160 miles per hour, ONR information states.
“Railguns and other directed-energy weapons are the future of maritime superiority,” Dr. Thomas Beutner, head of ONR’s Naval Air Warfare and Weapons Department, said in a statement. “The U.S. Navy must be the first to field this leap-ahead technology and maintain the advantage over our adversaries.”
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