Monday, April 7, 2014

JHSV to test railgun

Electromagnetic railgun. Navy photo
The Navy plans to test a prototype electromagnetic railgun aboard a joint high speed vessel in fiscal year 2016, the service said today. It marks the first time an EM railgun will be demonstrated at sea. Railguns use an electromagnetic force to rapidly accelerate and launch a projectile between two conductive rails. The launch is at such high velocities that it can achieve greater ranges than conventional guns and maintains enough kinetic energy that it doesn't require a high explosive payload. High-energy EM railguns are expected to be used against multiple threats, including warships, small boats, aircraft, missiles and land-based targets. A JHSV is being used because of its available cargo and topside space and schedule flexibility. (Source: NNS, 04/07/14) Gulf Coast note: JHSVs are built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.