The Navy has announced that it is getting close to developing an electromagnetic gun that can fire rounds at targets more than 100 miles away.
Called an electromagnetic railgun, the weapon consists of parallel rails and uses a magnetic field and electric current to generate energy to fire rounds accurate at up to 115 miles. The weapon will be able to hurl its 40-pound projectile at a speed of 5,600 mph at a rate of 10 guided projectiles per second.
The 5-inch guns currently used on Navy on destroyers typically have a range of about 15 miles.
According to Navy researchers, the weapon’s high-velocity and range would allow ships to provide support for Marines as well as self-defense against cruise and ballistic missiles and could target enemy ships.
The video below shows a Naval Research-funded electromagnetic railgun prototype launcher that was recently installed at a test facility in Dahlgren, Va. The test shots begin a month-long series of full-energy tests to evaluate the first of two industry-built launchers.