Navy Railgun Sets a New Record

Article written: 16 Dec , 2010
Updated: 20 Jan , 2016

*Gulp* If you haven’t seen this video yet, its worth a look. On December 10, 2010, the Office of Naval Research Electromagnetic Railgun fired a world-record setting 33 megajoule shot, breaking the previous record of 32 MJ. Railguns accelerate a conductive projectile along a pair of metal rails, and are being researched as weapons. The projectiles do not contain explosives, but with extremely high velocities can do quite a bit of damage. “Velocitas Eradico” indeed. (Speed destroys). Of course the other potential use for a railgun would be to launch payloads off Earth or the Moon. Make sure you watch the high-speed portion of the camera following the projectile along its flight. And you might flinch (I know I did!) in the portion where the projectile basically comes right at you.

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14 Responses

  1. Dark Gnat says

    I love Rail Guns. They are great for tank sniping. 🙂

    Also, this would be a great way to get Christmas presents there on time.

  2. Jon Hanford says

    Pretty awesome to see this gun in action. And look at all those capacitor banks used to power it (this is to eventually be used aboard ships, with a more compact power source I guess). There is also a longer video that shows more interior shots, different test projectiles, and an earlier test shot with a slender projectile:

  3. Member
    Aqua says

    Try not to think of this as a military weapon, instead, think of it as a way to launch refined elements from the moon such as O2, Fe, Ti, He3 etc…

    • Vanamonde says

      Yes! Mach 8 will get you off the Moon and into almost any orbit you want. And no air resistance, no plasma eating energy and Mach 8 is the wrong term, 2.38 km/s is a better way to put it.

  4. Uncle Fred says

    Disgusting. Horrible. More toys to kill and maim people.

    If that was a model space plane then great. Looked like a bomb to me.



  5. Emilio says

    I am surprised that they didn’t use super conducting magnet.

  6. tripleclean says

    GO NAVY!

  7. yonnie says

    shades of “Starman Jones” (1953″) or “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” (1960). Robert Heinlein.

    This is old-tech, but think of all the practical applications besides weapons this technology could be used for: Hi-speed transport of goods and people here on Earth, space station, Moon Colony, Mars.

    • Vanamonde says

      Old tech????? Mature science maybe, but a great and new engineering problem using the newest state of the art with the voltages and materials needed. And to make it fit in a ship with all of the power generation and shaping tech.

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