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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Magnetic Railgun Test

Washington Post reported that the US Navy tested their experimental railgun design Friday at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va.

The Navy reported the first test released 33 megajoules of force in the form of a 20 pound aluminum projectile. The projectile flew away a about Mach 7. 33 megajoules is about 24 million foot/pounds of energy. The second and final test of the day released 32 megajoules.

Railguns offer more magazine capacity because there is no need to store bulk propellant or explosive warheads. The kinetic energy of the projectile is able to damage by impact alone. This offers safer ammunition storage and handling. Since there is no chance of an accidental explosion, very rapid fire weapons could be developed.

How it works

If you have ever experimented with magnetic propulsion, you know that aluminum expels a magnetic field. If the source of the magnetic field is immovable, like a gun emplacement, the aluminum expels the magnetic field by leaving.

Washington Post Video

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