Electromagnetic railgun sets new world record
By Sam LaGrone
The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) achieved a world record-breaking 33 MJ shot when it hurled a rectangular steel projectile from an experimental electromagnetic (EM) railgun on 10 December.
The muzzle energy unleashed during the demonstration at the US Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Virginia, was equivalent to that required to fire a projectile at least 110 n miles, the ONR said.
A separate 32 MJ test shot was conducted for journalists after the record-breaking shot. Viewed on video monitors, there was an audible boom and a bright flash of light as the 23 lb (10.4 kg) test round travelled down range at 2.5 km/s (Mach 7).
The first phase of the railgun test programme was run in co-operation with General Atomics, which built the 100 MJ capacitor bank that powered the system, and BAE Systems, which built the 32 MJ laboratory test gun, said ONR programme manager Roger Ellis.152 of 426 words
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