US Navy electromagnetic railgun developed to fire shells at 5,000mph for 100 miles
While guns aren't normally our cup of tea, this one's a bit special. Developed by the US Navy this electromagnetic railgun is capable of firing a projectile at a staggering 5,000mph, or Mach 7. And it has a range of 100 miles.
The weapon has been tested on land and can be seen in a video ripping through walls and blowing up vehicles. The Navy plans to begin sea trials aboard the Joint High Speed Vessel Millinocket in 2016.
The electromagnetic railgun fires 18-inch projectiles using the Lorentz force. This is a combination of electric and magnetic forces on a single point charge, creating huge amounts of power.
Current missiles in use cost between $500,000 and $1.5 million. Projectiles on the railgun will cost just $25,000 each and can be operated by a single officer.
The US Navy has been working on a railgun for over ten years and it's finally a reality. The army has also expressed an interest in making a railgun of its own.
In a statement rear admiral Matt Klunder told reporters: "[It] will give our adversaries a huge moment of pause to go: 'Do I even want to go engage a naval ship?' Because you are going to lose. You could throw anything at us, frankly, and the fact that we now can shoot a number of these rounds at a very affordable cost, it’s my opinion that they don’t win."