The US Navy is apparently having a lot of fun with taxpayers’ dollars. Not content with plans to install high-power laser weapons (as we reported in April 2013, with an accompanying spiffy infographic), now they’re fooling around with electromagnetic railgun weapons that can fire projectiles further and faster than any previous gun. Tons of fun to had there, we’re sure. Prototype launchers, built by BAE Systems, are expected to be delivered in 2014.
Instead of using a chemical explosive, a railgun creates a magnetic force between two power rails conducting large amounts of electricity. The magnetic pulse can send a projectile distances greater than 100 nautical miles at speeds of 4,500 to 5,600 mph. Pirates of the high seas, waving your puny AK47s in the air, your days are numbered.
Click on the graphic for an expanded view.