BAE Systems Electromagnetic Railgun (also written ‘Rail Gun’) for Obliterating Targets with Hyperspeed Kinetic Projectiles at Long Range without Using Gun Powder: Meet the ‘Lorenz Force’

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By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com

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Image Credit: BAE Systems

April 8, 2014

Why settle for simply destroying a target when you can the the “Lorenz Force” to completely obliterate the target by vaporizing it and turning it into the fourth state of matter (that would be plasma), literally removing from existence? Well, if you’re the United States military you don’t. It’s frankly not in the U.S. miitary’s nature to settle, and it’s damned sure not the U.S. Navy’s. Thus, the electromagnetic railgun (also written “rail gun”), a miniature functional prototype of which DefenseReview (DR) covered way back in April 2005, after we viewed it at the 24th Army Science Conference (ASC 2004).

Of course, the miniature prototype we saw and photographed was developed by a team at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Advanced Technology (IAT) Electromagnetic Systems Division. But the life-sized Coca-Cola-version prototype, i.e., the “real thing”, was developed by BAE Systems for about $500M ($500 Million). Last July (2013), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded BAE a $34M follow-on contract for a multi-shot, auto-loading railgun prototype with a heat management system, which is supposed to be test-fired on a ship sometime in 2018.

The Lorenz Force generated by the railgun prototype’s electromagnetic pulse upon firing can reportedly propel a 23-pound projectile more than 100 miles at speeds up to Mach 7, or 5,328.45 mph. Two single-shot prototypes developed by BAE Systems and General Atomics will be tested in 2016.

Anyway, Defense Review, being a big fan of Reagan’s “Peace Through Strength”, or as we prefer to phrase it, “Peace Through Firepower Superiority”, is down with OPP on this whole rail gun thing, since we like guns AND science fiction. Railguns, laser guns, ray guns, traditional guns–we like it all, so we’re on board with this particular program. Maybe it’s time for a new phrase: “Deterrence Through Destructive Capability”. O.k., we’re still working on it.

Check out BAE Systems’ press release on the latest railgun prototype, here.

Company and Organization Contact Info:

BAE Systems, Inc. Headquarters
1101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 2000, Arlington, 22209 USA
Phone: 703-312-6100

Peter Vietti
Public Affairs Lead
Office of Naval Research
One Liberty Center
875 North Randolph Street, Suite 1224-C
Arlington, VA 22203-1771
Phone: 703-696-5031
Fax: 703-696-5940

© Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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BAE Systems Electromagnetic Railgun (also written ‘Rail Gun’) for Obliterating Targets with Hyperspeed Kinetic Projectiles at Long Range without Using Gun Powder: Meet the ‘Lorenz Force’ by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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