An 8 megajoule railgun is working This could lead to higher velocity and longer range weapons. Key to practicality is power generation and storage like superconducting engines or nuclear power. A powerful pulse generator is used for this railgun. The prototype fired at Dahlgren is only an 8-megajoule electromagnetic device, but the one to be used on Navy ships will generate a massive 64 megajoules. Current Navy guns generate about 9 megajoules of muzzle energy. A 32-megajoule lab gun will be delivered to Dahlgren in June. The projectile fired yesterday weighed only 3.2 kilograms and had no warhead. Future railgun ordnance won’t be large and heavy, either, but will deliver the punch of a Tomahawk cruise missile because of the immense speed of the projectile at impact.
The railgun’s 200 to 250 nautical-mile range will allow Navy ships to strike deep in enemy territory while staying out of reach of hostile forces.
Mortars could soon become a lot less effective.
Could provide squad or individual defence. They would also have potential effect versus small UAVs like those that are MEMS/NEMS based.
Those without good tech will be at more and more of a disadvantage.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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