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Old 11-29-2012, 18:11   #1
Atlas
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Super-cannon: Navy test-fire of new electric railgun (video)

Navy test of the BAE-developed electric rail-gun planned for deployment on the new DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer.

This supergun is designed to fire a 40-pound projectile at 4,500 to 5,500 miles per hour using electrical impulse energy rather than gunpowder.



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Old 11-29-2012, 18:14   #2
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So, what's with the fire?
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Old 11-29-2012, 18:19   #3
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So, what's with the fire?
Mostly plasma..
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Old 11-29-2012, 18:22   #4
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So, what's with the fire?
The projectile's friction was probably ionizing the particles as it passed through the wall.

Was it just me, or did it look wobbly as it was flying through the air?
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Old 11-29-2012, 18:23   #5
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Old 11-29-2012, 18:24   #6
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So, what's with the fire?
My hypothesis would be super heated plasma from the energy dump used to push 40lbs of projectile from 0 to over 4500mph in like really quick time.
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Old 11-29-2012, 18:24   #7
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It's a .10 mm, right?
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Old 11-29-2012, 18:28   #8
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You have to admit the 'Grandma font' type in the second video looks idiotic - Cold War meets computer noob.

Other than that, I'm happy to see this progressing. It'll probably be used on me one day.
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Old 11-29-2012, 18:34   #9
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...
Other than that, I'm happy to see this progressing. It'll probably be used on me one day.
???
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Old 11-29-2012, 18:56   #10
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It's a .10 mm, right?
Almost
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Old 11-29-2012, 19:01   #11
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I thought they canceled the railgun project?
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Old 11-29-2012, 19:20   #12
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???
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Old 11-29-2012, 19:29   #13
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I thought they canceled the railgun project?
Navy wants it, Congress not so much. Armed Services Committee tried to kill it but the project is still alive. They got a couple prototypes for testing earlier this year. It will be 7-8 more years, if ever, before they could have anything operational. Seems to me in the current budget climate it looks shakey.
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Old 11-29-2012, 20:35   #14
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I thought they canceled the railgun project?

The videos posted are almost a year old.


Not sure about the project though. I hope it is still in place as I find it really cool.
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Old 11-29-2012, 20:41   #15
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Some Thoughts On This...

I've read that a variation of this technology could conceivably launch spacecraft. Of course, the equipment and payload would have to survive the violence of the launch cycle, though.

Don't the newest aircraft carriers, and some of the older retrofits use an EM catapult these days?

This kind of weapon would be especially vulnerable to an EMP attack, wouldn't it?

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Old 11-29-2012, 20:42   #16
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Old 11-29-2012, 20:50   #17
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This kind of weapon would be especially vulnerable to an EMP attack, wouldn't it?
The only drawback is it doesn't work on cloudy days.
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Old 11-29-2012, 20:59   #18
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Awesome weapon system,I'm curious to the cost advantage vs disadvantage.
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Old 11-29-2012, 21:33   #19
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Awesome weapon system,I'm curious to the cost advantage vs disadvantage.
Well I don't know about the weapon system, but the unit cost for the ship they want to put it on, Zumwalt Class Destroyer, is said to be 3X the unit cost of a B2 Stealth Bomber and climbing. Plus as costs continued to escalate during the project they downsized the number of ships and capabilities of each ship.
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Old 11-29-2012, 21:39   #20
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Awesome weapon system,I'm curious to the cost advantage vs disadvantage.
In the long run it will take up less space and you can store more ammo, since you wont need any powder or propellent, which normally takes up a ton of storage space. You will also have longer range and better accuracy.
Of course there are 2 big downsides to it at this current time. The cost is Very high, and the power requirement is pretty crazy and not compact in size at all.
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Old 11-29-2012, 22:06   #21
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In the long run it will take up less space and you can store more ammo, since you wont need any powder or propellent, which normally takes up a ton of storage space. You will also have longer range and better accuracy.
Of course there are 2 big downsides to it at this current time. The cost is Very high, and the power requirement is pretty crazy and not compact in size at all.
There are also still materials science problems in being able to fire more than one shot at a time, along with, as you allude to, the problem that it takes just about the entire power output of the ship to fire.
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Old 11-29-2012, 22:14   #22
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Quote:
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In the long run it will take up less space and you can store more ammo, since you wont need any powder or propellent, which normally takes up a ton of storage space. You will also have longer range and better accuracy.
Of course there are 2 big downsides to it at this current time. The cost is Very high, and the power requirement is pretty crazy and not compact in size at all.
I agree with this.

New technology is always expensive at first. It has to start somewhere.

The military footed the bill for development of the microprocessor that we all use now. It too was expensive, but you like it now.
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Old 11-29-2012, 23:26   #23
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a projectile traveling at that speed has to have a pretty flat trajectory for quite a ways dosen't it? so how exactly would this thing be aimed from a ship? i can see how it could be used against other ships on the same elevation as the firing ship, but how will it hit land based targets at lower elevations, or behind land obstacles?
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Old 11-29-2012, 23:34   #24
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a projectile traveling at that speed has to have a pretty flat trajectory for quite a ways dosen't it? so how exactly would this thing be aimed from a ship? i can see how it could be used against other ships on the same elevation as the firing ship, but how will it hit land based targets at lower elevations, or behind land obstacles?
Several ways. (BTW, on the surface, what is going to be at lower elevation that sea level...)

You can change the elevation.

You can change the velocity.

You can have a proximity fuse.

Pretty much the same ways all artillery works.

From a physics standpoint, it still follows a normal parabola. There really is no such things as "flat" shooting. The first thing rounds do when they leave the barrel is begin to slow down and drop.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:30   #25
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It's a .10 mm, right?
Maybe a 10mm, a .10mm would be a tiny little round .04 inches across...

Sorry, pet peeve of people adding a "." where it doesn't belong
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