This fascinating technology, which uses high-power electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants to launch projectiles farther and faster than any previous system, is currently in Phase 2 of the program. During this phase, we will advance the railgun by maturing the launcher and pulsed power from a single shot operation to a multi-shot capability. Auto-loading and thermal management systems will also be incorporated. We received a $34.5M contract from ONR in 2013 to pursue these efforts.
“We’re committed to developing this innovative and game changing technology that will revolutionize naval warfare,” said Chris Hughes, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. “The Railgun’s ability to defend against enemy threats from distances greater than ever before improves the capabilities of our armed forces.”
On December 10, 2010, the U.S. Navy made history at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Dahlgren Division with our Laboratory Railgun. A 33-Megajoule shot was fired, the energy equivalent of 110 nmi range. In 2012, during Phase 1 of the INP program, engineers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center successfully fired our EM Railgun prototype at tactical energy levels.
Not content with just merely building the launch platform, We are also pursuing the development of a Hyper Velocity Projectile (HVP). In late 2013, we received a $33.6 million contract from ONR to develop and demonstrate a HVP - a next-generation, guided projectile capable of completing multiple missions for the Electromagnetic Railgun, as well as existing 5-inch and 155-mm gun systems.