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So I rarely ever double thread in a single week, let alone a month, but this article caught my eye and, in a recent discussion with a fellow Heretic, I thuoght this might make some good conversation.

The U.S Navy has developed a Railgun, and Electronically charged Magnet Gun, that can fire rounds at "...seven times the speed of sound in a matter of seconds." A recent video was posted on the internet, courtesy of the Navy, that shows a live-fire test with one of the prototypes being built. This weapon will ideally give the U.S a hand in competing against Russia and China, both of whom are advancing their areonautics and missile defense programs to challenge the U.S for dominance in the air and naval theatre.

http://news.yahoo.com/u-navy-test-futuristic-super-fast-gun-sea-202608368--sector.html

So what do you think freinds? Cool weapon of the future that will change warfare forever, or a really bad idea born out of a technological race that has been going on sicne the end of World War II?
 

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Closet Dictator
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A progression of ballistic weapons which will always be ongoing, what I want to know is why the 10kg projectile will cost $25,000, anyone know what it will be made of tungsten/depleted uranium/titanium????
 

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JUGGERNUT
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I wonder, how is the kinetic energy of this projectile distributed, and how destructive is it? Are the explosions/fire we're seeing a result of the effects of the projectile directly, or explosive elements in the targets that ignite after the projectile strikes?

A missile has an explosive payload. This projectile is fired at an extremely high speed, and obviously this will translate into a shit load of kinetic energy, right?

Not an expert in this area whatsoever, but is this comparable to a bullet? If the projectile is big enough, it will rip a big hole through something, but if not, it will just pass through whatever it hits, hopefully hitting vital organs or other vulnerable parts. Is that how this works?

Just confused as to how the destruction caused by these weapons is comparable to a missile, for example.
 

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The big fire ball is plasma at the firing end due to the air getting ionized by the hyper velocity round to the best of my memory of a documentary I saw, and apparently the warhead would not need explosive content due to the kinetic energy
 

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I currently have a cockney knees up sing along of "roll out the railguns" going through my head, thanks for that
 

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A progression of ballistic weapons which will always be ongoing, what I want to know is why the 10kg projectile will cost $25,000, anyone know what it will be made of tungsten/depleted uranium/titanium????
it's solid fairy dust,
you know,
ground up fairys, they have to use special mill stones plus the ear muffs for the workers takes a lot of money.

the problem with rail guns (all jokeing aside) and most sci fi weapons is power. we don't have a way to use this in any practical way. You know why the navy is developing this? because only battle ships have a chance of using it, and as we all know, in the battle between aircraft and battle ships, the air craft came out on top.

it's a neat toy (if you can call a rail gun a 'toy') but I don't see a practical advantage over the USS Iowa, which has much more total fire power, then this does given rate of fire, actual damage upon impact (this thing would over penetrate everything but a Land raider) and most of all, cost. it just more effective to run three Iowa's then this thing, and the Iowa is outdated as hell. a better investment would be in better fighters and fighter payloads then a gun that can only be used on a out dated delivery system.

(gets off soap box, bows, leaves)
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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it's solid fairy dust,
you know,
ground up fairys, they have to use special mill stones plus the ear muffs for the workers takes a lot of money.

the problem with rail guns (all jokeing aside) and most sci fi weapons is power. we don't have a way to use this in any practical way. You know why the navy is developing this? because only battle ships have a chance of using it, and as we all know, in the battle between aircraft and battle ships, the air craft came out on top.

it's a neat toy (if you can call a rail gun a 'toy') but I don't see a practical advantage over the USS Iowa, which has much more total fire power, then this does given rate of fire, actual damage upon impact (this thing would over penetrate everything but a Land raider) and most of all, cost. it just more effective to run three Iowa's then this thing, and the Iowa is outdated as hell. a better investment would be in better fighters and fighter payloads then a gun that can only be used on a out dated delivery system.

(gets off soap box, bows, leaves)
Cool story….. but these don't go on battleships, which we don't use anymore. They go on the front of destroyers. Also, we just developed a new generation of aircraft, so… yeah.
 

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Cool story….. but these don't go on battleships. They go on the front of destroyers. Also, we just developed a new generation of aircraft, so… yeah.
I was under the impression that only battle ships could house power plants large enough to make these things viable, unless you want to mount destroyers with atomic reactors.

the math for this thing is nightmares to figure out what to do, but the crux of the issue is it takes a massive among of power to get that thing move 32 mega jouls in well under a second.

ignoring the power issue, there's the issue of this thing being a big dart, it might penetrate what it hits, but that's it, no kaboom, this thing just over penetrate, go in one side and out the other. unless you hit something vital that ship is gonna keep comen.
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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I was under the impression that only battle ships could house power plants large enough to make these things viable, unless you want to mount destroyers with atomic reactors.

the math for this thing is nightmares to figure out what to do, but the crux of the issue is it takes a massive among of power to get that thing move 32 mega jouls in well under a second.

ignoring the power issue, there's the issue of this thing being a big dart, it might penetrate what it hits, but that's it, no kaboom, this thing just over penetrate, go in one side and out the other. unless you hit something vital that ship is gonna keep comen.
As far as I'm aware, we've never actually had a nuclear powered battleship…. ever. Currently, we've got them in carriers, subs and I think we had a cruiser or two outfitted with them, but I'm not sure, and I think we plan to use them in new ship classes. Honestly, power generation ain't that big of an issue to solve. Heat generation, though, could be a bitch.
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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Why? I mean that as an honest question.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
only battle ships could house power plants large enough to make these things viable,
...this and this.....

in the battle between aircraft and battle ships, the air craft came out on top.
....and this.....

we don't have a way to use this in any practical way.
....are all valid points; but are mute in this modern day and age. In reference to the problem with power it WAS an issue 20-30 years ago. These days the restrictions on Nuclear Power are starting to wane, and the military is turning more and more to it's use in Ships, Aircraft, and general power generations for Joint-Strike bases.

To answer your one question most ships could manage to house a nuclear generator if the Navy chose to use it. My cousin recently got a job as a Nuke Engineer, and in a similar conversation mentioned to me that the Navy can design Nuclear Units to the size and proportion of the ship. They no longer need to be massive monster that power Three Mile Island or the U.S.S Nimitz/George Bush. However he also point out the reason the Navy is hesitant to put them on all ships is both Legality, Universal Safety, and Waste disposal. They don't want to have to run the Red Tape loop of Congress, they don't wanna risk a chain reaction if one detonates for some reason and the rest follow, and they really would have a hard time finind the space to dispose of the nuclear rodes safely to meet enviromental standards. I hope this answers the question, I do beleive our resident Engineer, Darkreever, might be able to answer this question a bit better than I can.

In regards to the effectiveness of the weapon yes, it's just a solid project. however if you watch this short Youtube clip of the 2013 meteor strike in Russia.....


....you'll notice the damage done by just this one small piece of solid rock. In short it only has to hit the opposing ship and sink it, or strike munitions at that speed and cause internal explosions. They could use it as a form of long-range artillery for Sea to Ground Combat (as sos demonstrated in Transformers III: Dark Side of the Moon when the Railgun shoot the Prime on the Pyramid). They could even strike the Reactor of a Nuclear ship and cause a Reactor Failure that detonates the core.....BOOMM!!!! Additionally I'm sure they are developing a safe warhead to eventually use on the projectile itself that will devlier specialize munitions to the target but for now this is what we have to work with.

Finally I want to address your question on aircraft vs Naval Ships. It is true that common thinking is that one Jet Fighter, 1-2 Missiles and the ship is history; sunk right? Wrong, very very wrong. Just on a destroyer alone you have m,utiple Surface to Air/Surface to Missile units onbaord to intercept such threats. You have numerous EMP weapons to disrupt sucvh targets and, as a final precaution, their are High-Velocity Vulcan cannons(based on the origional Gattling design) to physically shoot Missile projectiles out of the sky. If you Watch Gundam Seed/ Gubndam Seed Distiny and see all the missile combat that occurs you can get a rough picture. On Battleships and Aircraft carriers it's all the more because of the massive size of this ships, and the sheer firepower you can fit into them. Jetfighters that roaming 50-100 miles out in a protective umbrella, multipkle Defense Systems on the 3(I think it's 3) BS still employed by the U.S Navy/Coast Guard. plus with the new Aegis systems and these supposed "Lasor" weapons it adds all the more to shooting down aircraft.

In short there really is no difference between the Dive Bombers/Torpedo planes of yesterday attack Aircraft carriers and the Jet fighters attack Destroyers. smaller, faster, Deadliest, and Sleeker is the trend right now; and I personally don't see that changing anytime in the near future.
 

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Good point aluminium has a decent melting point. 600 degrees Celsius i think.:scratchhead:
Well, Aluminum melts faster and easier than Iron or Steel does. Aboard ships, this is especially devastating because fires are the most dangerous thing aboard a vessel besides a hull breach flooding.

While aluminum lasts longer, and potentially be used for small arms fire resistance, they're on the ocean. The weapons you need to worry about are all medium and large caliber machine guns, cannons, and a range of short to long distance ballistic missiles, rockets, and torpedoes. All of which easily puncture Aluminum, set it on fire, and cause it to be destroyed faster.

They're only using it to cheaply produce a lighter series of craft based on speed, stealth, and hoping you see them first and shoot before.
 

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Because the real advantage to a Rail gun isn't that you could easily fire a nuke at hypersonic speeds from within a few miles of a coast line at a target.

Have none of you played Metal Gear?
 
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