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Future Wars: The Electromagnetic(Em) Railgun Essay

763 words - 4 pages

What was once thought to be just science fiction is now, very close, a reality. The Electromagnetic(EM) Railgun being developed by BAE Systems for the Office of Naval Research is sure to change the landscape of future wars. From its cost effectiveness, devastating power, and a myriad of other benefits the EM Railgun is something special.

The best way to wrap your head around what an Electromagnetic Railgun is would be to understand the basic idea of how it works. Two rails are electrically charged while sitting parallel to each other. The projectile connects the two rails together creating what is called Lorentz force. The result is an electromagnetic force that sets the projectile in ...view middle of the document...

Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder is very blunt when stating that it will “...take care of any threat that flies in the sky...”. Another front the Navy plans to utilize the railgun on is naval surface fire support. Essentially this is when Navy ships will bombard shore targets to provide cover and support for troops on the ground. This is another area where the EM railgun will outperform current mission capabilities. Currently artillery and ground support have a maximum range of less than 20 nautical miles, while they are projecting that the EM railgun will push their current naval surface fire support range out to 110 nautical miles. Clearly this ability also lends itself to the offensive front quite easily. With the greater range the Navy would be able to launch offensive attacks from the safety of the sea. The Navy may be developing the EM railgun but that will not restrict it to the sea. With a proper power plant the railgun can provide the same great defense it affords to ships to land targets as well.

One of the most promising aspects of the EM railgun is cost. With each new technology cost seems to be...

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