The U.S. Navy’s railgun is back and better than ever in a recently released video that shows the electromagnetic cannon firing shots from an assortment of different angles. The video was taken back in November of 2016, and the footage makes it clear that quite a few problems have been dealt with in the intervening years. The railgun fires quickly and effectively from every conceivable angle with an astonishing amount of firepower.
According to the official fact sheet, the gun operates by creating magnetic fields with high electrical currents that accelerate a sliding metal conductor. The conductor moves between two rails, sending out ammunition at up to 4,500 MPH. Ideally, electricity generated by the ship would power the railgun, but that has proven easier said than done. The railgun requires an enormous amount of energy to function, a problem engineers are reportedly still working on. This leads directly into the other big problem with these impressive weapons: getting them to cool down sufficiently after firing. The extreme heat that comes from so much energy being used can prove downright dangerous for the equipment and users alike.
The Navy officially wants to have these electromagnetic railguns on ships by the year 2025; they intend to work on the problems still at hand, as well as deal with reducing the overall size of the weaponry. Check out the video below to see the electromagnetic railgun in action.