The Navy’s Rail Gun Hides a Secret

The Navy’s Rail Gun technology hides a secret, that the Navy’s projectile accuracy has been substantially increased by about 45x.

But first some history. The US government brought Prof Eric Laithwaite to help them build a rocket launcher based on linear motor principles. Today we call this the Rail Gun.

In terms of its original objectives it was not a success, because astronauts could not survive the accelerations required to launch from a rail gun and cargo required a much longer rail gun than feasible with the then technologies.

The Navy succeeded with ship based rail guns as a means to shoot projectiles. Bloomberg TV has a good video on the Navy’s Rail Gun. http://www.bloomberg.com/video/watch-navy-s-new-supergun-launch-shells-at-5600-mph-bfCXOGXZQziZgHnsbq9VzQ.html

Watching this video I realized that the secret to the Navy’s Rail Gun project was not the rail gun itself, but the substantially increased accuracy attained by the much higher muzzle velocity.

I present two important point. Using quick & dirty theoretical reasoning and real examples showing that the rail gun projectile has an increased accuracy of between 28x to 45x over conventional ship-based guns.

And the real possibility that the rail gun projectile traveling at Mach 7.4 has the ability to shoot down the X-51 traveling at Mach 5 at an altitude of 70,000ft. PowerPoint is here http://www.iseti.us/pdf/NavyRailGun(2014-05-23).pdf Enjoy.

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