Electricity generated by the ship is stored over several seconds in the pulsed power system. Next, an electric pulse is sent to the railgun, creating an electromagnetic force accelerating the projectile to Mach 7.5. Using its extreme speed on impact, the kinetic energy warhead eliminates the hazards of high explosives in the ship and unexploded ordnance on the battlefield.
With its increased velocity and extended range, the EM Railgun will give Sailors a multi-mission capability, allowing them to conduct precise naval surface fire support or land strikes; ship defense; and surface warfare to deter enemy vessels.
The Electromagnetic Railgun INP was initiated in 2005. The goal during Phase I is a proof-of-concept demonstration at 32 mega-joule muzzle energy has been achieved. A future weapon system at this energy level would be capable of launching a 100-nautical mile projectile. This launch energy has the advantage of being able to stress many components to evaluate full-scale mechanical and electromagnetic forces.
Firing Demonstration of U.S Navy Electromagnetic Railgun
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun industry prototype launchers is being evaluated at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division. Both General Atomics and BAE Systems have designed next generation prototype EM Railguns capable of increased firing rates. The EM Railgun is a long-range weapon that launches projectiles using electricity instead of chemical propellants and is under development by the Department of the Navy for use aboard ships.