The US Navy is gearing to take its futuristic Railgun out of the lab where it has been tested for to past eight years. In the next biennium, these mighty weapons will be tested in open firing ranges and eventually at sea, where the futuristic electromagnetic gun will be able to demonstrate its full capacity to fire projectiles at targets 50-100 nautical miles (92 – 185 kilometers) away.
“The Electromagnetic Railgun is among several disruptive capabilities that the Naval Research Enterprise is championing to ensure a dominant, capable and relevant naval force for the future.” Chief of Naval Research (CNR) Rear Adm. Mat Winter said.
A railgun weapon system includes the launcher, projectile; high-density pulsed power, and fire control system. A railgun weapon can launch multi-mission projectiles with shorter time-to-target and greater effectiveness at longer range.
The Navy is evaluating two EM Railgun models. A 32-megajoule prototype built by BAE Systems and the 32 megajoule Blitzer developed by General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS). The company has also developed a 3-megajoule railgun variant. In the future, the Navy plans to deploy railguns rated to 64-megajoule.