Rail Gun Goodness From Every Angle

Dayaks

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Its a fire cracker compared to the Mark 7 16" 50 caliber. Now for a real display of fire power!!


I wish we kept an Iowa class active.

Did some quick googling and this rail gun can hit at 5600 feet per second at 110 nautical miles. An added bonus is it only takes around 90 seconds for the shell to make it that distance. That's some rapid response and it will wreck what it hits.

I am sure you know but a typical rifle muzzle is around 3000 feet per second. This leaves the barrel at 8500 feet per second. Given equal mass this is 8x the energy. Factoring in mass it's 20,000 times more energy than a NATO 5.56 round. Just trying to give a reference point. It's an incredible feat to get something moving that fast.
 

Schtask

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They are still pumping tons of money into the program. From a fire control stand point I would HATE to be the FC doing maintenance on that thing. Complete gun tear down after every shoot... having to replace and torque a million bolts, replacing rails, replacing control motors. Ick.
 

sirmonkey1985

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I thought they said a year ago the rail gun programs are never going to take off?

it's all a smoke screen.. military definitely wants the technology to work because in the long run all the money spent will be worth it for a multitude of applications. not to mention the projectiles easy as hell to make and doesn't require to be maintained over it's lifetime like missiles do.
 

MV75

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Big stationary cannon, didn't they have those already down pat a few hundred years ago? Plus they were pretty basic and didn't need a billion jiggawatts of power.

Anyway the only reason for this, space combat.
 

Ducman69

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Who are we using this against? We'll also spend all this money on R&D, and then sell it to half the countries in the world, including the only potential adversaries we would really take on with such a weapon in the first place.

Don't need a rail gun to take out random jihadis that are attacking soft targets.
 

Krab

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Who are we using this against? We'll also spend all this money on R&D, and then sell it to half the countries in the world, including the only potential adversaries we would really take on with such a weapon in the first place.

Don't need a rail gun to take out random jihadis that are attacking soft targets.


More likely they will hack some database and just built their own.
 

Sycraft

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I was sad to see the old battleships hit the yards. Old technology that can bring the hurt.

They just don't have a lot of use anymore. For anti-ship operations, torpedo are better than guns. Holes above the waterline can only cause so much damage, but hit a keel with an explosive and it is lights out for essentially anything. Torpedoes are also easy to launch from pretty much any ship, or from aircraft. Really though subs are the anti-ship weapon that just makes them not useful at all in that role. Their ability to blast surface ships undetected means that you don't need a big battleship for ship-to-ship operations, having subs around is better.

For ship-to-shore the rifles on those things just don't have the range they need. They can only fire about 23 miles which sounds impressive but means you can't really hit anything more than a coastal city. Well, if you can get close enough to bombard that, it has already been wasted by air power. It is too short a range to hit targets of interest further inland. For that you need missiles, which we have in abundance. A tomahawk will go 1000 miles no issue and is small and light enough to be carried on destroyers, cruisers, subs, whatever you like. The issue with them is price, of course.

Really though the final nail is just aircraft carriers. Battleships can't defend against them, and other craft are more useful in the role of supporting a carrier. So they went away.
 

michalrz

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While building those devices, one needs to find a sweet spot taking into account a stupid amount of variables. It may look bulky and primitive, but the synchronization, managing the EM field, it's a Swiss watch.
Once placed in space, there are ways to slowly charge the capacitor/battery assembly either through solar power or using a laser from Earth.

Once we'd figure out a launchable container capsule, capable of protecting the cargo from extreme acceleration, sending supplies to, say, Mars, would become much cheaper compared to launching long distance re-supply missions. Regular rocket to the launcher, and just zoom it off from there via the railgun. It doesn't necessarily have to use a nuclear reactor in orbit. It'd be unmanned and essentially disposable afterwards. The Russians already have their own variant cooking and it works.

Yes, it's glorified long range artillery, but good luck using anti-missiles or any other means to interfere with the projectile hitting its target.

I magnetize my screwdrivers using a solenoid, after that you can basically hang your screwdriver on the fridge. (solenoids != railgun though)

Edited in: Also, compared to a conventional gun, the ship can fire without having to position itself broadside towards the target - making it harder to hit it back.
 
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c3k

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I'm skeptical about the velocity claims at impact...100 miles away. Aerodynamic drag increases with the square of velocity. This thing starts with a tremendous muzzle velocity. Due to the acceleration, it relies purely on kinetic energy for damage. There is no fuze or high explosive filler.

It may do nicely at putting holes in sheets of metal (above the waterline), but I think more demonstration is clearly in order.
 

B00nie

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I fail to understand the title with the pressurized containments and decompression. Ships are not pressurised with the exception of submarines.
 

rgraze911

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I did not understand the pressurized compartment thing either. Concerning the Battleships though. I served aboard the USS New Jersey BB-62. We carried 32 tomahawks and 16 harpoons 12 5"38 and 9 16" guns, 4 seawizes. Yes you are limited to around 23 miles, we were very accurate flying a drone for targeting before drones were cool. The plus side is that we have a lot of 16" rounds laying around that cost a heck of a lot less than a tomahawk. I do have a bias towards the old girls but alas their times have passed. :(
 

c3k

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Can't beat the thick belt of armor that battleships had... Brits found that out in the Falklands.

Ships are built of thin metal these days because it's cheaper to build and operate than heavy armor. The excuse is that any war would use nukes, so armor is irrelavent. USS Cole anyone? (Similar to USAF "logic" about guns on planes in late '50s.)
 

geok1ng

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I fail to understand the title with the pressurized containments and decompression. Ships are not pressurised with the exception of submarines.

i took it as a direct mention to space warfare- against aliens, a favorite subject of Kyle., where this thing would rule with no air drag. the firepower/cost relation heavily favors the defender, in most cases, US.
 

Bowman15

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I think the US military continually tries to find the most ridiculously expensive ways to fire a projectile/rocket from a weapon they can. It's not even a smart weapon at the costs so far. The rail gun is an answer looking for a problem nobody has. I think other modern weaponry tech has passed it by.
 

Schtask

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I did not understand the pressurized compartment thing either. Concerning the Battleships though. I served aboard the USS New Jersey BB-62. We carried 32 tomahawks and 16 harpoons 12 5"38 and 9 16" guns, 4 seawizes. Yes you are limited to around 23 miles, we were very accurate flying a drone for targeting before drones were cool. The plus side is that we have a lot of 16" rounds laying around that cost a heck of a lot less than a tomahawk. I do have a bias towards the old girls but alas their times have passed. :(


It was a veiled mention of space combat, which is where I feel this weapon will be at it's most useful. You know...in orbit, pointing down. Or on a space station pointed out. Looks like no-one got it...probably because it is poorly worded. I'll do better next time.

In other news, I served on the Constellation and LHD 4 Boxer. Fire Control. Nato Seasparrow Missile System and CIWS (Phalanx). Looks like you were an FC as well Rgraze?
 

Schtask

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i took it as a direct mention to space warfare- against aliens, a favorite subject of Kyle., where this thing would rule with no air drag. the firepower/cost relation heavily favors the defender, in most cases, US.
YES!
 

rgraze911

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I was not a FC nothing fancy like that. I was just a fireman, an A -Ganger working in the forward evaporator flats. Which was located right by forward CIC. I just have great admiration for my ship and wanted to know as much as I could. Yes they do carry a lot of armor. The torpedo belt had 16" of armor plus flooded satellite tanks. If something like what happened to the Cole happened to my ship it probably would have just left a burn mark the deck apes would have to paint over. Plus the ship was actually designed to still be battle effective even split in half.
 

Schtask

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I was not a FC nothing fancy like that. I was just a fireman, an A -Ganger working in the forward evaporator flats. Which was located right by forward CIC. I just have great admiration for my ship and wanted to know as much as I could. Yes they do carry a lot of armor. The torpedo belt had 16" of armor plus flooded satellite tanks. If something like what happened to the Cole happened to my ship it probably would have just left a burn mark the deck apes would have to paint over. Plus the ship was actually designed to still be battle effective even split in half.

I had serious admiration for those ships. Lucky you for being able to sail on one.
 

B00nie

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i took it as a direct mention to space warfare- against aliens, a favorite subject of Kyle., where this thing would rule with no air drag. the firepower/cost relation heavily favors the defender, in most cases, US.

The rail gun is the size of two buses. Not going to be a standard issue weapon in space for some time lol. It's going to be much cheaper to use laser or regular chemical weapons.
 

dgz

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I fail to understand the title with the pressurized containments and decompression. Ships are not pressurised with the exception of submarines.

The-Expanse-Sed-loses-head.png


The-Expanse-No-Explosive-Decompression.png
 

captaindiptoad

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They are still pumping tons of money into the program. From a fire control stand point I would HATE to be the FC doing maintenance on that thing. Complete gun tear down after every shoot... having to replace and torque a million bolts, replacing rails, replacing control motors. Ick.
BITE ME ITS MINE AND I WILL LOVE IT LIKE I DO CIWS NATO RAM 48 AND 9B!!!
 

Schtask

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I bet. Holy shit man. Between gun teardown on the ciws and launcher / transmitter maintenance on NSSMS I had a busy time. I can't imagine throwing in 48 and ram on top... Though the 48 techs I knew didn't really do a whole lot.
 

Schtask

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One day I'll tell the story of a slice of metal falling down the backplane of the SDC. RAPID was interesting after that.
 
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geok1ng

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The rail gun is the size of two buses. Not going to be a standard issue weapon in space for some time lol. It's going to be much cheaper to use laser or regular chemical weapons.


Just mount a handful on the Moon as a deterrent. and pass to aliens the problem of how to evade or survive them .
 

pek

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Who are we using this against? We'll also spend all this money on R&D, and then sell it to half the countries in the world, including the only potential adversaries we would really take on with such a weapon in the first place.

Don't need a rail gun to take out random jihadis that are attacking soft targets.

Capabilities beyond just blowing things up? See, "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". TANSTAAFL!
 

Burticus

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So why does it still sound like a gunshot? It's electrically propelled, shouldn't it be quiet (er)? Or are we hearing a sonic boom from the sabot round?

I wonder what the sabots are made of. I hope it's not something stupid/toxic like DU

These are still in the test phase. I could envision them getting the size down to something reasonable and seeing some actual use in 10-20 years, I guess.
 

chili dog

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So why does it still sound like a gunshot? It's electrically propelled, shouldn't it be quiet (er)? Or are we hearing a sonic boom from the sabot round?

I wonder what the sabots are made of. I hope it's not something stupid/toxic like DU

These are still in the test phase. I could envision them getting the size down to something reasonable and seeing some actual use in 10-20 years, I guess.

Well there will definitely be the sonic boom from the round. I would also imagine that since they're discharging a massive amount of electricity it could sound like a lightning bolt.
 
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