WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Another prototype of an electromagnetic railgun launcher for firing U.S. naval projectiles using electricity instead of traditional propellants is being tested.
Test and evaluation of the EM railgun by General Atomics is taking place at the Office of Naval Research's facility in Dahlgren, Va., where a prototype from BAE Systems was tested earlier.
"It's exciting to see how two different teams are both delivering very relevant but unique launcher solutions," said Roger Ellis, ONR's EM Railgun program manager.
"We're evaluating and learning from both prototype designs and we'll be folding what we learn from the evaluations into the next phase of the program."
The EM Railgun launcher is a long-range naval weapon. Its magnetic fields, created by high electrical currents, accelerate a sliding metal conductor between two rails to launch projectiles at a speed of 4,500-5,600 miles per hour.
General Atomics and BAE Systems are working on concept designs for a next-generation prototype EM Railgun, including automatic projectile loading systems and thermal management systems.
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