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Rail Gun
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Summary
Scientists worked around the clock to develop for the Navy a gun that could fire a projectile at nearly Mach 8 – almost 8 times the speed of sound.
Dahlgren in Virginia is home to the Navy’s 8 megajoule electromagnetic rail gun. The high-voltage is created by charging up a bank of capacitors. It sits between an upper and lower rail.
When the bank of capacitors discharge, a surge of current creates a massive magnetic field, which accelerates the metal projectile to mind-bending speeds. Basically one ship off shore would be able to cover an arc of 400 nautical miles in diameter. The rail gun is expected to be operational by 2016.
Keywords: electromagnetic rail gun, NSWC Dahlgren, DDG-1000, Future Weapons, Tom Boucher
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