Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Army has awarded a contract to General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS), the prime contractor for its Blitzer electromagnetic railgun system, to “evaluate and mature railgun weapon system capabilities in support of U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Command.”
The contract specifies the development of railgun prototypes that may very well be utilized by the Army within the floor fight function. The Army plans utilizing railguns both as very lengthy vary artillery that may precisely hit targets over 160 km distant or as tank weapons firing hypervelocity projectiles (HVPs) mounted on a future alternative for the M1 Abrams essential battle tank. No tank armor on Earth can stand up to penetration by a railgun spherical.
The contract to GA-EMS appears to vindicate optimism amongst its officers that the sport altering weapon of conflict can lastly be prepared for manufacturing by 2019. A sequence of checks in early 2016 was to develop a multi-mission railgun weapon methods for the Army. GA-EMS in October 2013, nonetheless, predicted the land primarily based model of the Blitzer railgun would see manufacturing in 2016.
The 2016 checks noticed a prototype of the Blitzer electromagnetic railgun system efficiently hearth HVPs at far longer ranges than beforehand. Blitzer is the primary weaponized railgun deliberate for manufacturing. Intended as an artillery weapon to bombard land targets, Blitzer launches a streamlined discarding sabot spherical designed by Boeing’s Phantom Works at 1,600 meters per second or at Mach 5 at accelerations in extra 60,000 giganewtons.
Railguns launch projectiles utilizing electromagnetic forces as a substitute of the chemical propellants utilized in conventional artillery rounds. These futuristic weapons can ship muzzle velocities greater than twice these of standard weapons.
Blitzer’s rounds destroy targets with their very excessive kinetic vitality. They attain velocities above three km/s, far exceeding standard artillery rounds in vary and harmful drive. The absence of explosive propellants or warheads plus the low value of projectiles in comparison with standard artillery is an enormous plus for railguns. Railguns can launch multi-mission projectiles with shorter time-to-target and higher effectiveness at longer vary.
GA-EMS’ Blitzer railgun system is an built-in system that features the launcher; excessive density capacitor pushed pulsed energy and weapon hearth management system. In 2016, GA-EMS carried out pioneering engineering, growth and profitable testing of electromagnetic railgun launched HVPs and projectile parts.
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