The United States Navy has awarded two contracts for the development ofan electro-magnetic gun system capable of deployment on board navalsurface combatant ships. The development work preliminary design for anElectro-Magnetic (EM) railgun prototype and the preliminary design ofthe U.S Navy's 32 megajoule (MJ) Laboratory Launcher. Anelectro-magnetic railgun uses electrical energy to accelerateprojectiles to extreme velocities. Railguns do not require powders orexplosives to fire the round and therefore free magazine space forother mission areas. In addition, electro-magnetic guns provide ahighly consistent and uniform explosive charge that gives much greateraccuracy. Thirty-two megajoule is equivalent to a firing speed of Mach8 or eight times the speed of sound. This will be an intermediate stepon the road to a 64-MJ Tactical System capable of deployment on-boardnaval surface combatant ships.
Source: ohgizmo.comAdded: 7 July 2006