On March 1st, 2018 General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has announced that they have been awarded a US Army contract through the Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC). The contract will allow the General Atomics to evaluate and develop electromagnetic railguns. This research will be accomplished in support of the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Command (ARDEC).
GA-EMS and ARDEC will collaborate to further develop and advance the existing railgun technologies. The three-year contract must result in the development of prototypes of advanced railgun weapon systems as well as conduction of tests and research of possible integration with various US Army vehicles – both currently in service and those that will be deployed in future.
Nick Bucci, the vice president of Missile Defense and Space Systems of GA-EMS, said:
This contract allows the ARDEC to leverage our on-going research, development, and testing to advance railgun technologies and further develop railgun weapon systems for Army applications enhancing their effectiveness against multiple types of threats. The railgun weapon system is intended to integrate with existing Army systems and complement conventional capabilities, providing an effective counter to aircraft, rocket and cruise missile raids as well as other threats.
Mike Rucker, the director of General Atomics Programs for Missile Defense Systems, pointed out the strategic defensive role that railguns can have with the use of hypersonic projectiles. Rucker said:
Using hypersonic projectiles, railgun provides the soldier with shorter time to target, achieves effectiveness at longer range, and provides a lower cost per engagement than conventional interceptors,
GA-EMS has an extensive experience in development of railguns. They have developed multiple such weapons ranging from a 3 megajoule one to a large 32 MJ. The company has also developed a new mobile 10 MJ railgun.
Here is also a video by General Atomics, showing some of the railguns they have already developed:
“General Atomics Awarded Army Contract to Advance Railgun Weapon System Technology”. (2018, March 1). General Atomics. Retrieved from: http://www.ga.com/general-atomics-awarded-army-contract-to-advance-railgun-weapon-system-technology
Images from www.ga.com