Navy's "Mach 7" Railgun Fires A Round At 33 Megajoules

You guys, it won’t be long before wars really are fought by bunny-hopping space marines in power armor, headshotting dudes from a mile away with railguns. I mean, we pretty much already have all the pieces, it’s just a matter of putting them together. This test firing of the Navy’s experimental railgun (it’s been updated since last time) shows that our geeky weapon dreams are all coming true.

We’ve seen railguns and coilguns before, of course; you can even make your own. But the muzzle velocity of those projectiles is at most subsonic, and likely much slower than that, considering the amount of power they use. The navy’s gun? Yeah, the projectile can be going as fast as Mach 7 out of the gate. That’s, what, somewhere around 5,000MPH?

The projectile itself must be made of special materials so that it doesn’t melt due to air friction. With the right targeting and prediction tools, the navy is hoping to be able to hit targets up to 100 miles away. 100 miles, guys. And it’s hugely less expensive than firing, say, a Tomahawk missile or two. AND it gets there faster!

Maybe it’s a specifically masculine phallic impulse that makes us want to destroy distant objects, and if it is, I have no problem with that. Whatever makes more railguns.

Much more on the system here.

[via CNET]