Navy fires electromagnetic railgun at record power level

DAHLGREN, Va. (AP) – A futuristic weapon getting a trial run by the Navy demonstrated its destructive power at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren.In the demonstration Thursday, engineers fired the electromagnetic railgun at what they said was a record power level: 10 megajoules.

Current Navy guns generate about 9 megajoules of muzzle energy.

Railguns use electromagnetic energy to launch projectiles long distances – more than 200 nautical miles.

Because the railgun uses electricity and not gunpowder to fire projectiles, it eliminates the possibility of explosions on ships.

The Navy hopes the railgun will eventually replace the standard 5-inch gun on its ships. The weapon isnÂ’t expected to be deployed until at least 2020.

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