After $500 Million In Spending DoD Says Railgun Will Never See Combat – Here’s Why
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
By now you have more than likely heard of the Railgun the overpowered gun that has turned science fiction into science fact. It is easily the most powerful gun on the face of the earth and requires no combustion force only magnetic energy. The technology was set to revolutionize Naval warfare as the technology advances but some unfortunate news has come up for the railgun.
The technology was ordered in 2005 and originally set to be implemented on Navy ships within a decade. It’s been over a decade now and it is clear that the program is a little behind schedule as the program is still in testing. After pumping half a billion dollars into the railgun program, many military experts think that the railgun will never be combat ready in its current form.
In testing the railgun has been proven quite effective firing projectiles at speeds of 4,800 mph over a distance of 100 nautical miles. In theory, using magnetic projectiles is much safer than powder-based explosives which could potentially endanger the lives of the crew. However, the US Navy wanted a railgun that could meet the requirement of firing ten rounds per minute while the current output is 4.8 rounds per minute.
By 2019 the railgun program could be completely derailed as the Navy has requested another experimental weapon. This time around want a gun that uses explosive combustion and technology from the railgun better known as a hypervelocity projectile (HVP). Railguns are still stationary on land and there are still no projected dates to have them onboard ships as a primary weapon system.
Where do you stand, should they scrap the railgun or continue ahead despite pushing past the $500 million mark?