US Navy delays plan to test radical hypersonic Mach 6 railgun until 2019

The US Navy has been testing a powerful weapon capable of firing projectiles at hypersonic speeds to hit targets more than 100 miles away – but, it isn’t likely to be integrated with ships anytime soon.

In the fiscal year 2018 budget (FY 2018), the US Navy did not request funding for the transition of the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), according to Jane’s Defence Weekly .

Instead, the funding will allow research and development to press on through next year, with hopes to bring a testable prototype to life by FY 2019.

Scroll down for video US military has been working on the weapon since 2005 and say it is one of the future technologies of warfare. But in the fiscal year 2018 budget (FY 2018), the US Navy did not request funding for the transition of the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG) to ship An electric pulse is sent to the railgun which creates an electromagnetic force which releases the projectile at Mach 6, or 4,500 mph.

The immense kinetic energy generated by the hypersonic weapon is then transferred to the target on impact, obliterating it.

While the exact amount allotted for the railgun hasn’t been disclosed, the Navy’s request for the FY 2018 budget included $93 million for research, development, test, and evaluation of a number of Innovative Naval Prototypes (INPs), according to Jane’s.

The Navy is working to ultimately bring the EMRG up to a 32 mega-joule, 10-round-per-minute weapon.

‘We have been working through [a few] technical areas to make sure that can happen,’ Tom Boucher, Office of Naval Research program manager for the EMRG, told Jane’s.

‘Much of this work is being done at the subsystem level and components and then we are bringing them together as we go.’

The EMRG has been described as ‘Star Wars technology’ by researchers, as the powerful missiles don’t rely on chemical propellants.

Instead, they are fueled by electricity alone.

Strong magnetic fields are created by electricity on the ship and a ‘pulse power system’ to sent propellants flying at 4,500mph.

The technology has previously been shown to penetrate concrete at 100 miles away.Railguns are touted as one of the future technologies of warfare, using kinetic and laser energies instead of classic controlled explosives.Because the missile is fired using kinetic energy this eliminates the risks associated with keeping explosives on a ship. The EMRG has been described as ‘Star Wars technology’ by researchers, as the powerful missiles don’t rely on chemical propellants. The US Navy are testing an electromagnetic gun that can fire ammo at 4,500 mph The Department of the Navy’s science and technology corporate board chartered the Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) to build the EM Railgun, which uses generated by the ship, according to the Office of Naval Research .An electric pulse is sent to the railgun which creates an electromagnetic force which releases the projectile at Mach 6, or 4,500 mph.According to the ONR: ‘The railgun is a true warfighter game changer.’Wide-area coverage and exceptionally quick response will extend the reach and lethality of ships armed with this technology.’A future weapon […]