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article imageRail gun uses kinetic energy to deliver Mach 5 wallop

By MadMoneyWannabe     Feb 4, 2008 in Technology
The Navy has decided to install an electromagnetic lab rail gun at the Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Virginia, brining them one step closer to developing a ship-mounted version of the futuristic cannon.
According to Crave, the weapon has appeared to be the largest rail gun ever built. A joule is the amount needed to produce one watt of energy for one second. The weapon uses a "rail" to heave projectiles at Mach 7, which is about 220 miles down range - that's 10 times farther than regular naval guns. The projectile hits Mach 5 to destroy targets with kinetic energy instead of conventional explosives.
New ship building and design are expected to begin for the new gun to prove feasible because new vessels won't be forced to haul too many explosives. The rail gun uses no gunpowder, so it won't be considered energy efficient. The planned 64-magajoule system uses up to 6 million amps.
The Navy, which has tested the weapon in smaller versions, wants the gun onboard ships around 2020.
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