Navy ditches futuristic railgun

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,898
https://apnews.com/article/technology-business-a67d3200fad72488ebb37ce1b46bce5b
BATH, Maine (AP) — The U.S. Navy pulled the plug, for now, on a futuristic weapon that fires projectiles at up to seven times the speed of sound using electricity.

The Navy spent more than a decade developing the electromagnetic railgun and once considered putting them on the stealthy new Zumwalt-class destroyers built at Maine’s Bath Iron Works.
...
All told, the Navy spent about $500 million on research and development, according to Bryan Clark, an analyst at the Hudson Institute.
...
But there were a number of problems. Those included the range of about 110 miles in testing. A Navy vessel could not employ the gun without putting itself within range of a barrage of enemy missiles. And its usefulness for missile defense was also limited by range and rate of fire, Clark said.
Reposted because this was deleted when posted in the original thread as a update.
https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/threads/rail-guns.47207/
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,954
This topic is prohibited under the User Agreement.

Do not repost.

EDIT: I just re-read the User Agreement after nasspook complained and see that the prohibited topic is now Amateur/homemade rail guns and other high-energy projectile devices, so this thread is back open.
 
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Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,898

Looks like the physics and engineering were pretty solid. Possible, Yes. Feasible, No.


Retired Navy Admiral John Richardson, former Chief of Naval Operations
Still, he added that, in his opinion, the railgun program had been a "case study that would say 'This is how innovation maybe shouldn't happen.'"
https://www.wearethemighty.com/mighty-trending/us-navys-railgun-develop-weapons/
But experts argue that the railgun is inherently problematic technology, saying that regardless of who gets there first, the guns are likely to be militarily useless.

Railguns are “not a good replacement for a missile,” Bryan Clark, a naval-affairs expert, previously told Business Insider. “They’re not a good replacement for an artillery shell.”

He added: “It’s not useful military technology.”
 

dcbingaman

Joined Jun 30, 2021
495

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,898
R&D is never a complete waste. I am sure the Navy learned a lot about possibilities with that development. What is simple in theory is almost always more involved when it comes to implementation.
I'm sure they did learn a lot. This weapons chapter failed not because of incomplete R&D or implementation IMO. Technically it could have been 100% to the best possible theoretical rail-gun and still not be feasible for an effective weapon due to the realities of tactics and possible target capabilities to attack you long before you could engage a rail-gun effectively.

It's pistol in a sniper fight.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/mil...et-force-tests-carrier-killer-df-26-ballistic
China’s rocket force tests ‘carrier killer’ DF-26 ballistic missiles
 
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DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,954
Not necessarily, sometimes you are hating yourself for working hard on a project that won't go anywhere or should be done differently than what the customer asked for and when the project gets pulled it is a relief. Sometimes one can dream of completing a project and when it gets pulled it is a large disappointment, but there are other projects to work on...usually.
 

ronsimpson

Joined Oct 7, 2019
1,630
Sometimes you think about all the money going down a "rat hole" of a project. Every year they think about, should we spend millions more or just give up. Think about how many wonderful guns that were built and never used. How many monster ships built that never saw a war. 45 minutes from here is where they built the triggers for the atomic bombs. Thankfully never used.
 

Deleted member 115935

Joined Dec 31, 1969
0
The original aim of the project , was to have cheap shells, fired very accurately and very fast / frequent over along range.
The logic was there are plenty of situations where you need maximum amount of bang on target, against targets with low ability to hit back ...

Clasic is shore shelling, as was demonstrated even in gulf war 2 as a big need for what ever reason,

get in, drop 100 cheap shells on a target , get out,

But then spec creep, navy wanted everything, and the project bloated,
needing more and more expensive shells,
which meant the number to be purchased dropped, which put the unit cost per shell up, which reduced the number of shells ordered, etc.

not helped by the ship the gun was originally planed for, had no pain locker, so could not be commissioned.. I kid you not, all service ships MUST have a designated paint locker to a designated standard, the light weight ship it was aimed at , was stelf, and could not be painted at sea, so had no locker, so could not be commissioned, I fudge was found.
Yes there were many other spec creeps on the vessel, but the paint locker and the number of committee meetings that involved is a touch stone as to what was happening.

The idea of a gun on a ship is IMHO, still very relevant,
remember the argument that planes do not need guns in the age of missiles,
Que Top Gun,

A rail type launcher is a very cost effective method of projecting a lump of metal,
especially in these days of electric powered ships, lots of electricity available,
not having to store all that explosive on board just to launch a shell saves a bunch of space / weight and by definition makes the ship less liable to go pop in combat.

I would say , a simple , dumb shell and a rail gun, is a good way to put a lot of bang on target quickly and per round cheaply
 
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