The Navy will continue to fund research and development efforts related to the service’s much-hyped electromagnetic railgun but will likely not pursue a shipboard tactical demonstrator, according to sources briefed on the matter, a development that will likely condemn the more than $500 million project to a R&D; limbo as the Department of Defense focuses on other directed energy programs.
It cost the Navy at least $10 million and 18 months to help come up with the fiery new recruiting slogan “Forged By The Sea.” But after just before revealing its new rallying cry on Dec. 5, the branch appeared prepared to shell out a few thousand dollars more to lock down the rights to the phrase.
It can fire a solid metal slug at speeds of up to 4,500 mph, or Mach 6. It can hit targets up to 100 nautical miles away. It’s capable of defeating incoming ballistic missiles and liquefying even the most durable enemy armor, the equivalent of a weaponized meteor strike fired from the world’s most powerful gun. After more than a decade of research and development and more than $500 million, the Office of Naval Research’s much-hyped electromagnetic railgun prototype is finally capable of flexing its futuristic muscles — but despite the swirl of science-fiction excitement surrounding the muscular new cannon, it will likely never see combat, Task & Purpose has learned.
The Navy’s much-hyped electromagnetic railgun has come a long way. Ever since the futuristic cannon enjoyed a public debut at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division in Virginia in November 2016, the Office of Naval Research has been working diligently alongside defense contractors to bring the decade-long program closer to battlefield effectiveness. Based on new video published by the Department of Defense, the railgun has successfully moved from single-shot to repeated firing rate operations — a major stepping stone on the path to the battlefield.
U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson
The Office of Naval Research has spent the last three years trying to enhance service members’ instincts to help them root out danger when operating in dangerous situations, an effort that has culminated in a fascinating training manual that's almost reads like a guide to clairvoyance downrange, according to The Daily Beast.