US Navy's Railgun to be test-fired at sea for the first time in late Summer 2016 from JHSV

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Sea-Air-Space 2015 - US Navy Railgun
 
 
 
US Navy's Railgun to be test-fired at sea for the first time in late Summer 2016 from JHSV
 
The U.S. Navy announced today at Sea-Air-Space 2015 it will fire it’s first-ever Railgun at sea on the Eglin Air Force Base Maritime Test Range in late Summer of 2016 aboard JHSV5, USNS Trenton. The test will fire a GPS-Guided Hypervelocity Projectile from a Railgun at a fixed over-the horizon target. Further, it will validate system performance models for a dynamic Railgun. US Navy selected the BAE Systems' solution to perform this first at-sea firing test.

It’s an over the horizon engagement. We’re firing on a ballistic trajectory and guiding into intercepting that target” said US Navy Captain Mike Ziv, program manager directed energy and electronic warfare.
     
The U.S. Navy announced today at Sea-Air-Space 2015 it will fire it’s first-ever Railgun at sea on the Eglin Air Force Base Maritime Test Range in late Summer of 2016 aboard JHSV 5, USNS Trenton. The test will fire a GPS-Guided Hypervelocity Projectile from a Railgun at a fixed over-the horizon target. Further, it will validate system performance models for a dynamic Railgun. US Navy selected the BAE Systems' solution to perform this first at-sea firing test.
US Navy future Railgun is intended to be a land- and sea-based system, capable to hit cruise missiles, as well as aerial and surface targets
     

EM railgun technology uses an electromagnetic force - known as the Lorentz Force - to rapidly accelerate and launch a projectile between two conductive rails. This guided projectile is launched at such high velocities that it can achieve greater ranges than conventional guns. It maintains enough kinetic energy that it doesn't require any kind of high explosive payload when it reaches its target. According to the US Navy, the Railgun will be capable to hit target at distance reaching 110 nautical miles, in 32 Mega Joule Railgun configuration (50 nautical miles with the 20 MJ Railgun variant).

EM railgun technology will complement current kinetic weapons currently onboard surface combatants and offer a few specific advantages. Against specific threats, the cost per engagement is orders of magnitude less expensive than comparable missile engagements. The projectile itself is being designed to be common with some current powder guns, enabling the conservation of expensive missiles for use against more complex threats.

     
The U.S. Navy announced today at Sea-Air-Space it will fire it’s first-ever Railgun at sea on the Eglin Air Force Base Maritime Test Range in late Summer of 2016 aboard JHSV5, USNS Trenton. The test will fire a GPS-Guided Hypervelocity Projectile from a Railgun at a fixed over-the horizon target. Further, it will validate system performance models for a dynamic Railgun. US Navy selected the BAE Systems' solution to perform this first at-sea firing test.
US Navy plans first-ever at-sea test of the Railgun aboard JHSV5, USNS Trenton
     
This demonstration will be the latest in a series of technical maturation efforts designed to provide an operational railgun to the fleet. Since 2005, the Navy and its partners in industry and academia have been testing railgun technology at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va., and the Naval Research Lab where the service has a number of prototype systems.

The final operational system will be capable of launching guided, multi-mission projectiles to a range of 110 nautical miles against a wide range of threats. The series of tests are designed to capture lessons for incorporation into a future tactical design and will allow the Navy to best understand needed ship modifications before fully integrating the technology.

The Navy is using JHSV as a vessel of opportunity because of its available cargo and topside space and schedule flexibility. Because JHSVs are non-combatants, there is no plan to permanently install a railgun on any ship of the class. A final decision has not been made on which ship classes will receive a fully operational railgun.

     
 

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