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.
"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.