Home » Weapons » Ammo and Munitions » Killer Drone Builder General Atomics Builds Killer Electromagnetic Rail Cannon

Killer Drone Builder General Atomics Builds Killer Electromagnetic Rail Cannon

by Greg on May 5, 2010

One of the more intriguing new technologies spotted at this week’s Navy League Sea-Air-Space Expo was General Atomics’ electromagnetic rail cannon. The company has been working for a number of years with the Office of Naval Research on a 200 nautical mile gun system. In a parallel effort, they’ve been developing a smaller, pulse-power technology demonstrator, called the “Blitzer,” for ship defense against anti-ship cruise missiles and small boat swarms.

Two million amps launch a guided projectile at twice the speed of a conventional gun, but at much lower cost than the usual surface-to-air missile systems outfitting most naval ships. General Atomics is working on a cannon that can launch an airburst round at a rate of one per second. Each round dispenses sub-projectiles, so its equivalent to firing 14,000 rounds a minute, which is a higher rate of fire than the Phalanx close-in weapons system, says Tom Hurn, General Atomics director of advanced weapons systems.

– Greg Grant

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