BAE Systems officials said an electromagnetic rail gun firing a kinetic energy warhead could be a real option for the Army’s next generation Future Fighting Vehicle, which the service hopes to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
Following the cancellation of the Ground Combat Vehicle, Army officials said they want the defense industry to offer a wide range of technologies before the Army decides whether to pursue the Future Fighting Vehicle, or an additional Bradley upgrade.
The 23-pound hyper-velocity projectile can be fired from a rail gun as well as from Navy 5-inch guns and even 155mm artillery weapons, Klunder added. The round currently has what’s called command guidance but may be engineered for self-guidance in the future.
BAE Systems officials said the rail gun would have to be scaled down if it were to be mounted on top of the turret of a Future Fighting Vehicle. However, the officials on the AUSA show floor were confident it was possible.
* mach 7 kinetic energy round (twice the muzzle velocity and four times the kinetic energy)
* cheaper round that has no explosives in it so it is safer to store
* the Navy gun is 30 feet (10 meters long) which is the same as the M1 tank gun. It is the power and other systems that need to be fitted to a ground vehicle
* more ammo for deeper magazine
* General Atomic has a larger (almost no miniturization work needed) mobile land based railgun system proposed that would be multiple mission and focused on destroying missiles and other targets
Railgun on the back of flatbed of a truck during testing. Firing through concrete and metal. This if from the General Atomics video
Image of the navy railgun to be deployed in sea trials in 2016. This gun would be reduced in size for a tank killing railgun for a new ground Vehicle
General Atomics has a vision of a mobile ground based railgun system that involves three heavy trucks. BAE would have to reduce the size and weight of a fighting vehicle gun by about ten times.
BAE Systems presented a host of possible technologies at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference last week. Among those was a model of the electromagnetic rail gun the company is developing for the Navy.
The rail gun, which can hit ranges of 100 miles or more, uses electricity stored on the ship to generate a high-speed electromagnetic pulse sufficient to propel a kinetic energy warhead. The result is an inexpensive, high-impact and long-range offensive weapon, service officials said.
General Atomics Video
General Atomic vision of a mobile land based railgun system on three bigger and heavier trucks