US Navy keeps electromagnetic cannon in its sights

Washington (AFP) – The US Navy is quietly pushing ahead with a radical new cannon that one day could transform how wars are fought, even though some Pentagon officials have voiced concerns over its cost and viability.

Named the railgun, the weapon in question represents a paradigm shift in ballistic technology. Instead of using gunpowder and explosive charges to shoot a shell from its barrel, it employs vast amounts of electromagnetic energy to zoom a projectile along a set of copper-alloy rails.

Thanks to four small fins on its rear, the hefty round can then be guided toward a moving object — such as an enemy ship, drone or incoming ballistic missile — relying purely on the kinetic energy from its vast momentum to destroy the target.

Incoming Round On Target Navy Rail Gun

Incoming Round On Target – Navy Rail Gun

  • glasnost

    “Electromagnetic” – does that mean that manufacturing will be out-sourced to China?

    • We sure as hell couldn’t afford one in Ontario thanks to Wynne.

      • Jaedo Drax

        Assuming that you picked the correct hour to charge it in, you might actually get the wynne government to pay for the charging. I’d have to do some digging, but there was at least one point when ieso reported the hourly price at -$149/MW.

  • UCSPanther

    I want one! Long range, high velocity fragging fun!

  • Minicapt

    British Aerospace makes some nice pieces of kit.


  • canminuteman

    It would be environmentally friendly if you charged it with windmill! Might take a while. It wouldn’t be a semi auto.