# Navy Tests Incredible Sci-Fi Weapon

Mentor
The U.S. Navy yesterday test fired an incredibly powerful new big gun designed to replace conventional weaponry aboard ships. Sci-fi fans will recognize its awesome power and futuristic technology.

The big gun uses electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants to fire a projectile farther and faster. The railgun, as it is called, will ultimately fire a projectile more than 230 miles (370 kilometers) with a muzzle velocity seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7) and a velocity of Mach 5 at impact.

The test-firing, captured on video, took place Jan. 31 in Dahlgren, Va., and Navy officials called it the "world's most powerful electromagnetic railgun."
Good Grief.

http://www.livescience.com/technology/080201-electromagnetic-record.html

Then the Germans are working on evironmentally friendly explosives.

Environmentally Friendly Bombs Planned

After the bombs were detonated in the laboratory, G2ZT also proved as powerful than TNT, and HBT more powerful than TNT and comparable to RDX, said researcher Thomas Klapötke, a chemist at the University of Munich in Germany.

In initial experiments, G2ZT and HBT produced fewer toxic byproducts than common explosives. Still, they did generate some dangerous hydrogen cyanide gas. But mixing these compounds with oxidizers not only avoids making hydrogen cyanide, but also improved performance, Klapötke said.

These compounds have great potential, "especially for large caliber naval and tank guns," Klapötke added.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080527/sc_livescience/environmentallyfriendlybombsplanned [Broken]

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Railguns are pretty cool, I remember reading about them in SciAM or PopSci a year or two ago. There are some pretty cool railgun videos out on the web if you do a quick Youtube search. They can shoot up to about 52,000 feet per second...I want one.

Andre
I've been around weapons much of my career and I got more and more disgusted by the idea. What purpose would a gadget like this serve? Sure, you can take a 700,000$maverick, hit a target precisely and kill X$ worth of hardware and take Y human lives. You could also buy $20 dollars something worth of chemicals and sneak in your home made bomb on the right spot and and kill X$ worth of hardware and take Y human lives.

But why was it necesary to kill X$worth of hardware and take Y human lives? Because both enemy camps were utterly convinced that the opponent were the worst crooks ever and the right thing to do is to spend 700,000$ or 20$to be able to and kill X$ worth of hardware and Y take human lives. Why not spend 700,000$or 20$ and buy that opponent a beer and have some laughs at the bar. You can't believe how effective that was in Europe after dropping the Berlin wall.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I'd go out and make a lot of enemies right now if they promised to spend $700,000 buying me beer! Andre Alas, such a deep thought smottered by greed. Mentor Environmentally Friendly Bombs :rofl: Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Alas, such a deep thought smottered by greed. I'll share some of that beer with you...I promise! Cyrus Anyone else notice the fire coming out the back of the rail gun shell? I wonder what the recoil of the gun is? From the article, it increases the guns range by an order of magnitude and eliminates the need to store explosive shells on board ships. Neato! Last edited: Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member I wish half as much effort went into not trying to kill each other in ever more powerful and ingenious ways. Gold Member Anyone else notice the fire coming out the back of the rail gun shell? That shot was of the rail-gun projectile emerging from a target. The target was vaporized, which is why you see flames. High-temperature, well-dispersed material in the presence of Oxygen has a tendency to burn very energetically. This includes vaporized metals. Staff Emeritus Science Advisor I wonder what the recoil of the gun is? It depends on the mass and acceleration of course. Back in the 1980's, I visited a facility that built rail guns. It was pretty interesting. I remember projectile velocities on the order of km/s. I imagine the Navy will be using jacketed DU shells with penetrator nosecones in some cases. Andre I'll share some of that beer with you...I promise! Thanks! I may have a Guinness later. Meanwhile you could use the rest of the money to explain that we are all in this together, regardless of race, ethnics or whatever. No reason to try and kill each other, Thanks! I may have a Guinness later. Meanwhile you could use the rest of the money to explain that we are all in this together, regardless of race, ethnics or whatever. No reason to try and kill each other, Sad, isn't it? How much did the government spend on cancer research in 2007? 5 billion dollars. How much on millitary? 600 billion. No one loves war like the US! :!) Cyrus Out of curiosity, how much did the rest of the world spend on cancer research? humanino Out of curiosity, how much did the rest of the world spend on cancer research? • (1) This is really irrelevant • (2) This is misleading if you do not also ask how much did the rest of the world spend on military Andre Sad, isn't it? How much did the government spend on cancer research in 2007? 5 billion dollars. How much on millitary? 600 billion. No one loves war like the US! :!) I think that this is an unfair comparison, facing reality. One of the wised quotes is from Eisenhower: "speak softly but carry a big stick". You can only offer your adversary a beer if you're convinced that there is a chance that he'll accept it. You'd need to find a reason to convince him why it's useless to continue hostilities. One of the major things there is to concede that you, yourself are reluctant to do that, (althought you could). Cyberweapons are most definitely the wrong signal. Last edited: Cyrus • (1) This is really irrelevant • (2) This is misleading if you do not also ask how much did the rest of the world spend on military Ok, then I'll also ask how much did the rest of the world spend on their military. I don't see why its irrelevant to compare how much the US spent on cancer research compared to the rest of the world. If we are world leaders in cancer research, then THAT says something about the US. Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member I played with rail guns some years ago... what a blast; literally! I wonder what they are using for the energy storage. We used capacitors, but people were also playing with homopolar generators. In our case the ESR of the caps, and, interestingly, the firing switch, were the two biggest problems. It turns out that making large fast switches is a problem in its own right. Some people were using one-time switches, but we ended up using a rather clever approach: A low-current, high-voltage arc was used to establish a conductive path for the high-current, lower voltage discharge from the main capacitor bank, which worked pretty well. Anyway, fun stuff. Mentor If we are world leaders in cancer research, then THAT says something about the US. At the same time if you are world leaders in military spendings that TOO says something. It leads nowhere - all these arguments can be easily reversed. I am opening a beer as a sign of peace Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Once again Andre derails a thread with a personal agenda. humanino I don't see why its irrelevant to compare how much the US spent on cancer research compared to the rest of the world. If we are world leaders in cancer research, then THAT says something about the US. Sure, this by itself is interesting. But let me take a fictious example : let us say that the rest of the world spends 100 times more on cancer research than on military, but that this is still less than what the US spends on cancer research. Mainly because the rest of the world • cares more about cancer than military, which is relevant to your argument • but does not have as much money as the US Am I really out of my mind ? Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member responding in general: I am pretty sure that there were wars and weapons long before the US came along. And I am sick of listening to the people we have protected for decades whining about it. One of the reasons that other countries have small military budgets is that everyone knows they can rely on the US to do the dirty work for them. So I agree with Andre: I'm tired of paying the bill for your safety. Mentor Whoa, I didn't know, but I just checked some numbers out of curiosity. In 2006 the USA was responsible for 46 per cent of the world total military spendings... Besides, I am still drinking that beer. Well: "With expenditure of$455 billion, the United States accounted for almost half the global figure, more than the combined total of the 32 next most powerful nations, said SIPRI, which is widely recognized for the reliability of its data. (2005)" - I'd say we more than make up for our leading millitary spending.

humanino
In our case the ESR of the caps, and, interestingly, the firing switch, were the two biggest problems.
Hey, why not use a superconductor switch ?

humanino
responding in general: I am pretty sure that there were wars and weapons long before the US came along. And I am sick of listening to the people we have protected for decades whining about it. One of the reasons that other countries have small military budgets is that everyone knows they can rely on the US to do the dirty work for them.

So I agree with Andre: I'm tired of paying the bill for your safety.

I know I will be provocative, but anyway : I am quite sure that France did not rely on the US until before Sarkozy. There is a reason de Gaulle had us leave the direction of NATO.

And franckly, it is a bit ironical that you can say "tired of paying the bill" right now. Because it was a US decision that makes you pay the bill right now, a decision against the will of the UNO (that is, the others).

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Cyrus
I know I will be provocative, but anyway : I am quite sure that France did not rely on the US until before Sarkozy. There is a reason de Gaulle had us leave the direction of NATO.

And franckly, it is a bit ironical that you can say "tired of paying the bill" right now. Because it was a US decision that makes you pay the bill right now, a decision against the will of the UNO (that is, the others).

Im pretty sure that France benifitied from the US vast military spending against the USSR.

Gold Member
I know I will be provocative, but anyway : I am quite sure that France did not rely on the US until before Sarkozy. There is a reason de Gaulle had us leave the direction of NATO.

And franckly, it is a bit ironical that you can say "tired of paying the bill" right now. Because it was a US decision that makes you pay the bill right now, a decision against the will of the UNO (that is, the others).
Have you studied the Great War, and WWII? The US paid a huge price in treasure and blood to free France from the Germans, not once, but twice.

One person who paid huge personal prices was "The Black Swallow of Death" - the first black military aviator in US history. Many, many more paid the ultimate price.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Bullard

humanino
Have you studied the Great War, and WWII? The US paid a huge price in treasure and blood to free France from the Germans, not once, but twice.
I did
• The US did not seem to care to much about Europe until Pearl Harbor
• Answering to the idea that "others" rely on the US to "do the dirty work for them", I am referring to events after WWII, when, for instance, France left the direction of NATO precisely not to rely and depend on the US
And I knew it was provocative.

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K.J.Healey
Not sure if it was mentioned, but do they use rail gun/maglev to launch fighters from the decks of carriers yet? Seems like that would be an application.

Poop-Loops
So how viable would it be to launch a nuke with a rail gun so that it wasn't detectable until it exploded ala Metal Gear Solid?

Cyrus
I did
• The US did not seem to care to much about Europe until Pearl Harbor
• Answering to the idea that "others" rely on the US to "do the dirty work for them", I am referring to events after WWII, when, for instance, France left the direction of NATO precisely not to rely and depend on the US
And I knew it was provocative.

Again, the US vs. the Soviets.

Gold Member
I did. The US did not seem to care to much about Europe until Pearl Harbor. And I knew it was provocative.
The US cared, but the huge losses of life in WWI had spurred an isolationalist movement that gave the politicians an up-hill battle in arguing for intervention.

Q: Why do the French have their roads lined with trees?
A: So the Germans can march in the shade.

Continental dynamic have given rise to regional conflicts. The poor economic conditions in Germany after WWI gave rise to rabid nationalism and the rise of the Nazis and Hitler. Economic aid and cooperation might have staved off that development. I am sorry to say that the current administration in the US is devoted to engaging in economic sanctions, embargoes, and diplomatic isolationism directed at nations they don't like. That is the PRIME recipe for supporting nationalism, radicalism, and reactionary movements in one's enemies.

humanino
Q: Why do the French have their roads lined with trees?
A: So the Germans can march in the shade.
That's a good one

Another aspect of the problem, claiming you are tired "to pay for the others". Most of this money invested in the military system is certainly not lost into thin air. Actually, this is a pretty good way to sustain economy. Even a good war on someone else's land is an excellent investement, despite local claims from people such as researchers, whom we can safely (temporarilly ?) ignore.

I certainly do not agree that "other countries" consider the US as a good back up plan to protect them and therefore would lower their own military budget. Such a strategy would be insane, especially now.