Railguns For Surface Ships

The US Navy's new railgun has a lot of potential.


(US Navy railgun video)

One of the first platforms the railgun will be gracing is, not surprisingly, ships. Particularly, battleships and destroyers. Due to the large power requirements of the gun— a 25 megawatt power plant and large capacitor bank— only ships can carry it, with the most likely candidate being the DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers and its 78-megawatt integrated power system

The Navy retired much of its gun battleships after WWII, due to limited range and accuracy of gunpowder weapons. Missiles and jet fighters became the name of the game during the Cold War, extending range of ship operations. Now, battleships may get a resurgence.

The Navy’s current 6-inch guns have a range of 15 miles (24 km). The 16-inch guns of WWII battleships are at 24 miles (38 km). In contrast, the railgun has a range of 125 miles (201 km).

When fitted with railgun tech, the range of 6-inch Navy guns was extended to 38 miles (61 km). The Army’s 155mm howitzers also got extended range when fitted with the tech.

Although the railgun concept appears to be as old as studies of electromagnetism, science fiction fans (or should I say, fans of scientifiction) were treated to a futuristic treatment of these devices in The Battery of Hate, a 1933 story by John W. Campbell. He called them electric machine guns:

"What was that thing you cut those planes up with? I thought you were making a sort of machine gun." Kennedy chuckled. "It was, Bob, it was. It was simply a long solenoid that threw little steel bullets, but it didn't use powder, it used electric power. Remember, there was practically no mechanical apparatus about it, only electrical contacts made by the bullet itself, as it was drawn throught the tube by the magnetic force. The lack of mechanism meant it could fire as fast as bullets could go through the barrel; no waiting while the thing was cocked and the used cartridge removed... The result was that the machine gun shot something like thirty thousand times a minute. It acted like a huge bandsaw, each bullet being a tooth that moved better than two miles per second."

Via futurism.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/21/2016)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Weapon ")

TIKAD Armed Drone Ready To Fight
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...' - Larry Niven, 1972.

LaWS Laser Can Take Out Rogue Drones
Looks like a weapon for the Runaway squad!

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.' - Keith Laumer, 1976.

Railguns For Surface Ships
'It was simply a long solenoid that threw little steel bullets...' - John W. Campbell, 1933.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!

Clever Electric Truck Generates More Power Than It Uses
Better than a fictional electrotruck!

Eden-ISS, Greenhouse In Antarctica
'With this kind of light we could get the gardens going again."

Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...'

Will Robots Be Moral If We Raise Them Like Our Children?
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'

Foldable Galaxy Phones, I Swear They're Coming (Maybe)
How hard can it be?

Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...'

Brain Connected To Internet - ‘Brainternet'
Fascinating!

Artificial Spider Silk
You can also use it to make a roof - on an asteroid.

MIT Tunes Ions For Frictionless Surface - Superlubricity!
'My telelubricator here neutralizes the interatomic bonds the surface of any solid...'

Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
'Harrington glanced at his wrist watch - a bulky affair - and whistled.'

Robot Buddhist Priest Chants, Drums
'He crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...'

Koniku Kore, Mouse Brain-Based Chip, Detects Explosives
'As a matter of fact, this mouse is going to keep on thinking forever.'

CNH Industrial Autonomous Tractor Concept Video
'...the tiny red glints of self-guided tractors.'

The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.'

Siri Now Smoother, Perkier (Thanks, Deep Learning!)
'Good morning, Dr. Chandra. This is Hal.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.