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.

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Photo via DoD

As part of its proposed $171.5 billion fiscal year 2018 budget request, the Navy carved out a hefty $2 billion for a suite of futuristic weapons systems ripped straight from the pages of a science-fiction flick. And a good part of that cash is going toward the service’s much-touted electromagnetic railgun: According to a new report from the Congressional Research Service, the service is on track to equip guided-missile destroyers and cruisers with the fancy launcher within the next 10 years. But despite this progress, it appears that the next-generation cannon won’t immediately see combat the way the Navy originally planned.

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