"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, February 09, 2008

US Navy's BIG, very, very expensive toy, for big boys

U.S. Navy Breaks Electromagnetic Railgun Power Record

The Office of Naval Research test fired an electromagnetic railgun (EMRG) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, Va. on Jan. 31, 2008, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. EST. The gun was fired at over 10 megajoules of energy – a power level never before achieved by an EMRG. The previous test firing was at the same site on October 2nd 2006.

The EMRG is one of the Navy's newest toys (just one more one in a family of the Office of Naval Research’s Innovative Naval Prototypes (INPs)) (see more Navy pics)It uses electricity, rather than chemical propellants, to launch projectiles at long-range targets

The launcher or barrel contains a pair of metal, electrically conductive rails . These are contained in a composite structure. Very strong opposing magnetic fields are generated within the launcher by a high current pulse that flows through the rails and a bridging armature positioned behind the projectile when the rail gun is fired. Propulsive force is created which accelerates at an astonishing speed propelling botht the armnature and its projectile.

After release from the armature, the projectile , travelling at a muzzle velocity of 2500metres per second (compared with 800 m/s of a standard 5" 54 or 62 gun )and is guided by a GPS system as it leaves the earth's atmosphere, beyond reach of electronic jamming. (Well thaty's the theory driving a 10-15 year research project)

Alternatively, fired directly (1 - 40 Km. range - current gunnery has limit of 20 miles) a 15 KG projectile woud arrive on target at Mach 5 (1500m/s) with 17 Megajoules of energy., twice a conventioal warhead at half the weight.

It is anticipated that with an available 80 megawatts of installed electrical power, a ship like the DDG-1000 could have the power to sustain a firing rate of 6-12 rounds per minuete.

An exotic weapon if it can be made to work reliably. There are big questions yet . Barrels wera out at present after 4 rounds, building suitable pulse networks are available to maintain direct fire weapons, but indirect fire guns with 200 mile range are still a distant possibility.

The test on January 31 st was successful .. er .. The test firing recorded at 10.64 MJ, shot an aluminum projectile 72 feet in 10 milliseconds.It takes a power of 1 joule to send an apple 1 meter up into the air. ( it was watched by Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Gary Roughead, brother to Ronald , visitor to one of Mrs Palfreys working girls)

Dr. Elizabeth D´Andrea, ONR´s Electromagnetic Railgun Program Manager (see pic) emphasises the safety aspect of the rail gun - On Board safetey is improved as explosives and explosive rounds need not be stored.

So far the Navy have spent 237 Mn. taxpayers dollars.

Work so far has involved engineers from Boeing, Charles Stark Draper Lab, Inc., General Atomics, Department of Energy (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), U.S. Naval Academy, Naval Postgraduate School, Naval Sea Systems Command (PMS 500), Naval Surface Warfare Center – Carderock and Dahlgren Divisions, the U.S. Army and United Kingdom.

The program´s goal is to demonstrate a full capability, integrated railgun prototype by 2016-2018. ...don't hold your breath. Stratfor Status report on the project after the test... and Popular Science


sam_m said...

Understandably, whilst Lady Patel is musing her Sunday morning through the latest NoW "World Exclusive", Lord P is busying himself in the garden shed trying to reproduce the results of experiments in Popular Science.

The Rail Gun is the weapon of choice(*) for battle hardened Quake players and provokes an interest in the development of e.m.weapons. Hence this article was noted.
It's an exciting development using the motive force of the warship to power the weapon, though it may leave it bobbing up and down like a sitting duck, several horizons away, whilst the weapon itself is fired.

I say "may" because students of Newton will be speculating how his Third Law of Motion (For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) will play out in this circumstance.

Investors in the Defence Industry will note the involvement of BAE Systems in the development of this weapon.

Should m'Lord Patel wish to enhance his garden shed capability, I recommend Sam Barros' site as a place to start.

(*)Well, that and the Gauntlet for close up "humiliation!!"

Shutter said...

You are confused on 2 counts

1) Activities chez Patel on a sunny Sunday.'er indoors is struggling with the Mail on Sunday X word and his Lordship is is trying out the Newtonian Dynamics of the new and various toys in our EU funded Heritage park.

2) These guns aren't for using, they are merely a means of draining pools of taxpayers funds into the mil ind complex - and meanwhile providins entertainment for the brainier types who are drawen towards making Weapons of Mass destruction at an early age.

AS BAE are involed - who have spent 18 years developing the TYphoon / Eurofighter to provide a 15 second burst of fire from its on board machine gun (which the RAF will not be using) and having just dropped their first bomb (with the aid of an adjacent bomber) one can reasonably expect development to stretch comfortably beyond the planned period of introduction.

By which time the funding of Osprey / Turkey will appear as petty cash.

Quite why anyone wants to fire a gun from 220 miles away when there are perfectly good supersonic missiles is a point which I fail to grasp.

Incidentally I happened to notice from the NOW that the suspicions I had long harboured about the Paxman underpants have proved to be well founded.

No wonder he is such an ittitable bastard.

Shutter said...

Thnx for the link to Sam B's site...are you certain that this is not a crude attempt to get me to download information about terrists weaponry?

Expect some loud bangs from 'ooooop North.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish