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Electro-magnetic energy module developed for Railgun

The new module is said to pack twice the energy density into the railgun, compared to modules based on explosives or propellants.

By
Richard Tomkins
A new energy module designed for the U.S. Navy's experimental Railgun, pictured as it is being fired, powers the weapon using electro-magnetic energy, rather than explosives or a propellant. U.S. Navy photograph
A new energy module designed for the U.S. Navy's experimental Railgun, pictured as it is being fired, powers the weapon using electro-magnetic energy, rather than explosives or a propellant. U.S. Navy photograph

March 10 (UPI) -- A new High Energy Pulsed Power Container with twice the energy density than existing railgun pulsed-power solutions has been developed by General Atomics.

The HEPPC system can reduce the number of pulsed power containers required for the launch projectiles from a railgun weapon system, providing greater flexibility for future Navy and Army railgun applications, the company said.

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"For the past decade, GA-EMS has provided pulsed power in support of the Navy's railgun program," Nick Bucci, vice president for Missile Defense and Space Systems at General Atomics Electromagnetics Systems, said in a press release. "Our next generation HEPPC breaks our own energy density record and exceeds the capabilities of other available railgun pulsed power container solutions.

"What we have packed into a 10-foot standard shipping container is equivalent to what is currently available in a 20-foot shipping container, doubling the energy density to provide greater flexibility for ship and land-based installations and maneuverability for mobile applications."

The Railgun being developed for the U.S. Navy relies on electro-magnetic power to launch a projectile or hybrid missile instead of explosives or a propellant.

The Railgun can launch a hybrid missile at a muzzle velocity greater than twice those of conventional guns.

GA-EMS said it internally funded the development of the HEPPC in support of a Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun Weapons System, which integrates pulsed power, launcher, hybrid missile, and fire control technologies.

Each HEPPC includes high-energy pulsed power modules with an energy content of more than 415 kilojoules per module.

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