PDA

View Full Version : Navy Test Fires First Working Prototype Railgun.



erik
29 Feb 12,, 05:58
Video of the test fire within the link.



The Navy’s futuristic railgun is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Navy officials told FoxNews.com this week that the railgun, which relies on magnets rather than explosives to fire bullets at several times the speed of sound, had blasted through budget constraints that are leaving federal research programs in Washington at the drawing board.

“I think it is a great example of how our naval science and technology -- in these tough fiscal times -- can be responsive to the military’s emerging needs,” said Adm. Matthew Klunder, Chief of Naval Research for the Office of Naval Research (ONR), which has been developing the electromagnetic railgun since 2005.

He insisted that not only will the railgun fire projectiles faster and farther than any weapon now known to man, but “in these fiscal times of belt tightening … [it’s] a more cost-effective system.”

How so? For one, because the gun and the storage of its projectiles (which are not incendiary, and weigh about 40 pounds each -- smaller and less expensive than today’s missiles) ultimately will take up less space than traditional weapons systems.

In addition, rather than relying on chemical propellants like gunpowder, the railgun uses an electromagnetic pulse to create strong magnetic fields that propel the conductive bullet on a sliding metal sled and out of the barrel -- at 4,500 to 5,000 miles per hour and as far as 100 nautical miles away in about 5 minutes, with possible future expansion to 220 miles, according to ONR.

The Navy’s most advanced shipboard gun in operation today, the 5-inch,54-caliber lightweight gun, has a range of about 13 nautical miles, Klunder said. The Advanced Gun System (AGS), which is currently being developed for the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyer, is expected to have a range of nearly 60 nautical miles.

“We’re still talking about four times the range,” said Klunder, calling it “leap-ahead technology.”

“This is the stuff you saw in movies a couple of years ago -- cutting edge, taking out the Transformers -- and now it’s reality,” he added.

Well, almost.

On Feb. 26, ONR announced that it was getting ready to test the gun’s first prototype, built by private defense contractor BAE Systems, at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Dahlgren, Va. Another prototype built by General Atomics is expected to arrive at Dahlgren in the coming weeks.

ONR began firing railgun slugs in its laboratories in 2008, but this is the first time the Navy has tested the gun from a launcher that resembles what the final weapon system will look like, Roger Ellis, the EM Railgun program officer, said in an interview.

It will also indicate what the weapon can do. According to ONR, BAE initiated its tests in February, firing at 20-megajoules and planning for a 32-megajoule test soon after. (A megajoule of energy is equivalent to a one-ton car traveling at 100 miles per hour.)

“We’ve made a lot of progress, to say the least,” Ellis said. “It’s a significant step beyond previous laboratory-based launchers. [The lab models] were nothing you could put on a Navy ship ... this is closer to the fit and form of what we could put on a ship someday.”

The clear advantage to a long-range gun, of course, is to provide cover for soldiers and Marines operating in coastal areas from a safe distance at sea, and for anti-missile/aircraft capabilities. The longer the range the technology offers, the more strategic it becomes, offering the Navy new abilities to hit other targets on water and land, ONR officials said.

But there are potential obstacles, too. So far, Congress has been supportive of the railgun program, though it barely survived a snag last June. In passing its version of the FY2012 defense authorization bill, the Senate Armed Services Committee eliminated funding for the project, citing technical challenges related “to the power required and the barrel of the gun having limited life.”

Though these concerns did not stop the program from getting funding, thanks to the railgun’s friends on Capitol Hill, they highlight a number of unresolved issues, not the least of which is how the barrel will withstand repeated, massive explosions -- and creating a projectile with a guidance system that will be able to endure the ensuing heat and velocity.

Ellis told reporters in a Feb. 28 press conference that Phase II of the program, which begins now, will concentrate on improving the barrel’s lifespan and developing the repetition rate -- how many times in a row the railgun can be fired successfully. The goal is 10 rounds per minute. That means having enough energy stored to fire it up to “pulsed power” that quickly, for multiple rounds.

The energy question is a big one, as experts have said the amount of electricity necessary to operate the railgun at 32 megajoules would require a ship that that can generate enough power, one that doesn’t yet exist. It may be the massive Zumwalt class DDG-1000 destroyer, which is now being designed as a multi-mission ship at a price tag of $3.3 billion per ship.

Ellis said ONR is working on a battery system that would mitigate the problem by storing up energy much like the batteries used in hybrid vehicles, allowing the Navy to position the guns on both “new and existing platforms” and still get the pulsed power necessary to operate at optimum levels.

Phase II is expected to end in 2017, at which time the railgun, if complete, would go into a funding and acquisition phase that will take the project to full deployment on Navy ships by 2025, though there are hopes for a slightly shorter timeline, Ellis said.

So far, the railgun has cost taxpayers $240 million in research and design costs, according to ONR. Ellis said the project has been “adequately funded” for Phase II and should come in at a similar price tag.

“(Congress) did ask for a better understanding of the future of the railgun, and we are comfortable that the information we have provided will help them understand the benefits of the program,” Klunder said. "The prototype railgun is now functioning and successful and we hope this helps to increase overall confidence in the significance of the program.”

Read more: It's real! Navy test-fires first working prototype railgun | Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/28/its-real-navy-test-fires-first-working-prototype-railgun/?intcmp=features#ixzz1nkAooRkZ)

It's real! Navy test-fires first working prototype railgun | Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/28/its-real-navy-test-fires-first-working-prototype-railgun/?intcmp=features)

USSWisconsin
29 Feb 12,, 07:35
Video of the test fire within the link.




It's real! Navy test-fires first working prototype railgun | Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/28/its-real-navy-test-fires-first-working-prototype-railgun/?intcmp=features)
it looks a little like an old battleship gun from the 19th century
28525

RustyBattleship
29 Feb 12,, 07:41
it looks a little like an old battleship gun from the 19th century
28525

And you would need a ship the size of a Battleship to carry it, plus its generators and the "engines" to turn the generators. At the range it can supposedly shoot, what kind of targeting computer will be needed to allow for wind drift, movement of the Earth underneath the flight path, re-entry into the atomosphere, etc.?

I think the best use for this gun is NOT long range firepower but high velocity drilling of holes in the side of a volcano to release magma pressure from blowing up an Island or covering a city in molten lava (as in Iceland where the US Navy provided pumps to cool down a wall of lava from burying a small city).

tbm3fan
29 Feb 12,, 08:29
A DDG-1000 destroyer at 3.3 billion dollars!!! What did the CV Bush cost? Around 5 billion? In my mind there is something seriously wrong with our defense procurement systems when a destroyer costs 3.3 billion dollars a piece. That is absolutely insane...

RustyBattleship
29 Feb 12,, 19:39
A DDG-1000 destroyer at 3.3 billion dollars!!! What did the CV Bush cost? Around 5 billion? In my mind there is something seriously wrong with our defense procurement systems when a destroyer costs 3.3 billion dollars a piece. That is absolutely insane...

Yes, it seems insane. But there is an historical reason for this. Electronics started growing so rapidly from the 1950's until today that WW II classes of Destroyers needed major modifications to fit everything in. And I mean EVERYTHING. As our Navy got smaller in numbers of ships, Destroyers were being converted to be multi-taskers. They had to have the latest in Aircraft defense (Sea Sparrow missiles), ship to ship engagement (guns and/or torpedoes) and anti-submarine weaponry (depth charges and torpedoes).

It was fitting 12 pounds of potatoes in a 10 pound sack.

So to retain their multi-funtional roles, they had to be bigger. Lots bigger such as a Spruance class Destroyer was as big as a light Cruiser of WW II vintage (but without any armor).

Also, with all the new gizmos, doo-hickies and blivits the ships were running out of room for a crew. So almost every system on a ship is now controlled by pushing buttons and twisting dials. It will come to a point (most likey in your lifetime and possibly in mine) that a ship will only have 12 human beings on board (four for each 8 hour shift) to monitor the dials, buzzers and video screens. Once in a while they may need to physically switch over to back up lubricating system number 3 to automatically keep grease around the bearings of a motor.

Or hit the off button (aka PANIC button) should the impossibe ever go wrong -- beep -- ever go wrong -- beep -- ever go --beeeeep.

USSWisconsin
29 Feb 12,, 20:39
Just wait until the master computer decides that some fully loaded cruise ship is hostile - and the warship goes into combat mode and sinks it - to protect itself - not allowing any overrides from the ride along crew - then it moves in and gattles the surviors in the water and lifeboats with CIWS. Racing around the sinking site at full throttle grinding up the few it missed with its turbine props.

Dr Daystrom - M5 just killed a friendly...

bigross86
29 Feb 12,, 20:41
Do you see the technology advancing enough to one day be fitted onto an MBT?

astralis
29 Feb 12,, 21:18
i've seen some old RMA advocates thinking (well, more like mentally masterbating) about railguns on MBTs since the mid-90s. seems like fusion technology-- one of those things that will always remain 20-30 years off!

USSWisconsin
29 Feb 12,, 21:39
Do you see the technology advancing enough to one day be fitted onto an MBT?

The system needs big capacitor banks (the blue things behind the gun) - and more than one bank if it wants to fire fast, big generators or alternators to recharge those capacitors (it takes a few minutes now - so 10 rpm sustained means about 20 or 30 of those banks for one gun - plus the generaters to recharge each of them), great big soliniod switches (these are on the left side of the blue capacitors) and the gun itself - and hefty cooling to allow rapid fire. It sounds like a system for a large ship, I don't know how they can shrink the power supply with technology in sight or on the drawing board - explosive capacitance? - sounds like an extremely expenisive approach to a solution that a conventianal AGS gun could already provide).
If a railgun MBT is going to have as many rounds ready as a conventional version - it will need to be huge.

Dreadnought
01 Mar 12,, 00:03
It all starts out very large, then becomes small enough to probably fit in either a DDG or CG hull. Microtech has been the trend since the 90's. Give them time.

If we actually think about it, whats to stop them from creating an unmanned ship to carry it by remote? Its not like they havent remoted ships as they did in WWII. In this day and ages sensors, cameras and comms its completely feasable for them to do just that. Fore go the crews living spaces and such and just make it a remote weapons platform.

citanon
08 Apr 14,, 02:43
Making progress. Is it just me or does the admiral's eyes light up with a crazed look of mayhem when talking about what the projectile can do?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37eqJ4lpB_o


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJQfAcBs5vQ

Dreadnought
08 Apr 14,, 05:26
All I know is that if your going to take out a supersonic or better missle in the future then that gun better be "chain lightning" in train, elevation and firing rate and certainly able to take damage for the one that gets through.

Blademaster
08 Apr 14,, 05:39
Where do the flames come from if there are no propellants or gunpowder?

TopHatter
08 Apr 14,, 05:41
Where do the flames come from if there are no propellants or gunpowder?

My guess would be the immense friction of the projectile going down the barrel, or the air igniting from same. No idea if that's it though.

Blademaster
08 Apr 14,, 05:42
My guess would be the immense friction of the projectile going down the barrel, or the air igniting from same. No idea if that's it though.

That was my initial thought but I wanted to confirm it first, hence my question.

bolo121
08 Apr 14,, 07:32
That admiral sure has a manic glint in his eyes.
I got the impression that he has already constructed a USN death star in his mind. :biggrin:

citanon
08 Apr 14,, 07:35
I think its actually the plasma from superheating and compression of the air by the current going through one rail to the armature then to the other rail and the armature moving down the barrel at highspeed.

Not sure if some part of the armature is also vaporized, but you'd hope that the inside of barrel is not also shooting out the front with every shot.

Friction was originally a big problem but I believe they have actually solved it, which is why this is moving towards entering the fleet.

From what I recall, the projectile is actually suspended with an airgap between the armature and the rails as it moves down the barrel, hence minimizing the frictional wear. The current discharges through this narrow gap and the cushion of air is probably compressed at a very high rate as the armature moves down the barrel at speeds greater than mach 7 (Behaving sort of like an inside out scram jet). The combination of this electrical discharge, super heating and compression turns the air along with a small amount of vaporized armature material into a plasma, which are the flames that you see.

If I were to guess the formation of the plasma is probably by design and helps with efficient functioning of the gun.

SteveDaPirate
08 Apr 14,, 14:36
If I were to guess the formation of the plasma is probably by design and helps with efficient functioning of the gun.

You may be on to something there, plasma is a great conductor of electricity, while air is a pretty good insulator. Creating plasma inside the gun as it fires could channel the electrical discharge through a specific and possibly moving area.

DonBelt
08 Apr 14,, 14:56
All I know is that if your going to take out a supersonic or better missle in the future then that gun better be "chain lightning" in train, elevation and firing rate and certainly able to take damage for the one that gets through.
The opposing dc motors on a Mk 15 CIWS can drive the mount in azimuth and elevation at very high speeds. The 2 dc motors that drive the mount in each axis of motion are mounted and driven so that they are opposing each other at maximum rate and when the mount needs to move, the signal is altered allowing it to move in the direction desired at full rate without having to accelerate. At times when the mount was holding stationary you could see it quiver as the drive signal had noise and volt fluctuations on it and on those rare occasions when the mount control ckt failed the mount would oscillate wildly at high speed. Hence the need for the mount safety switch. But given the increased range (100+ nmi) and speed (mach 7-8) of the projectile, the mount won't need to move that rapidly. Increased speed of projectile, increased range, decreased lead distance = decreased lead angle at the mount. Of course that changes as the target gets closer or if it is maneuvering or if you are maneuvering, but I think the system is intended to reach out and touch something, not close in defense. Of course who knows as the technology progresses, but power seems to be the biggest obstacle.
Adm Klunder does have a sparkle in his eye and why wouldn't he? He gets the best toys. But if you were in charge of multiple research programs costing hundreds of millions of dollars apiece and a skeptical congress breathing down your neck you'd have to look and be enthusiastic about them as well if you didn't want them to get the axe.

Blademaster
08 Apr 14,, 15:41
how did they handle the recoil? Newton's Third Law of Motion - "For every force, there is an equal and opposite force"

DonBelt
08 Apr 14,, 16:09
On a rail gun or CIWS?

Blademaster
08 Apr 14,, 16:43
On a rail gun or CIWS?

rail gun. to propel something to over mach 7 takes a lot of force.

ace16807
08 Apr 14,, 18:11
rail gun. to propel something to over mach 7 takes a lot of force.

As it stands now the mass of the projectile probably keeps it within reason (I think it's less than 50lbs). My poor physics background says mass x velocity = force x time = momentum

So basically, considering a high projectile velocity, the low projectile mass and significant mass behind what is on the receiving side of the momentum (the gun/ship) means you aren't gonna have outrageous issues. I think the greater concern is not having the recoil screw up sensitive components that normally aren't present in a conventional gun.

DonBelt
08 Apr 14,, 18:39
In the video of the lab unit firing there seems to be what I assume is some kind of recoil. It seems modest, but maybe its not a recoil but has some other purpose. it is at the breech, appears to be a separate piece and moves aft sharply at the point when the projectile is fired. i don't think that would be a limiting factor, the power will be. At present.
What I wonder is, with the black 23 lb projectile they showed, is whether a guidance system could be fit in it?

citanon
08 Apr 14,, 19:37
The lab demo is with the much smaller dart the he held with 1 hand. For the actual gun they want something in the neighborhood of 38 mj, which is a 10 kg projectile with a 5 kg armature going north of mach 7. At any rate the recoil should go as M*V which means it will be similar to a cconventional gun shooting a 30 kg projectile at mach 3.5.

Stitch
08 Apr 14,, 20:13
So, I assume it will eventually look something like this?

36226

citanon
08 Apr 14,, 20:45
That's before it's assembled into Voltron.

BBSupporter
10 Apr 14,, 21:14
We have little or no chance of having this weapon mounted to a destroyer sized ship in the next 50 years. I would much rather see the 8"/55 caliber Mark 71 installed aboard every ship currently mounting a 5" gun. The only class of warship capable of generating enough electrical energy for a rail-gun is the Gerald R Ford carriers. A much better alternative is the electro-chemical guns which are capable of being retrofitted to a destroyer or cruiser.

Mark

citanon
11 Apr 14,, 00:20
We have little or no chance of having this weapon mounted to a destroyer sized ship in the next 50 years. I would much rather see the 8"/55 caliber Mark 71 installed aboard every ship currently mounting a 5" gun. The only class of warship capable of generating enough electrical energy for a rail-gun is the Gerald R Ford carriers. A much better alternative is the electro-chemical guns which are capable of being retrofitted to a destroyer or cruiser.

Mark

The Zumwalts have plenty of power generation and will probably get this gun. With other ships it may be possible if they change to hybrid propulsion.

Remember 38 MJs is 1 second of electricity generation from a 38 MW generator.

Each Arleigh burke has 4 GE LM2500 gas turbines doing 20 MWs, which is more than enough power to keep a rail gun going full tilt even accounting for losses. The problem is that most of the power on the Arleigh Burkes are fed directly into the drive shaft and no electricity. If they switch to hybrid electric then you feed into a storage system, with power allocated as needed across different systems. This is what's in place on the Zumwalts.

Thus, if they convert the future flights of Arleigh Burkes into hybrid power systems, then they will have enough to put the rail gun on those destroyers as well.

The Ford probably has enough power but where will you fit the rail gun? And there is the EMALs and many other power hungry systems on that ship. My guess is they will leave that alone and put the gun on destroyers.

BBSupporter
11 Apr 14,, 01:47
Sorry for the lack of clarity in my post. I never, ever, meant that the navy would mount a gun on an aircraft carrier. I was merely speaking about the engineering aspects of the Ford class. In my opinion, the Zumwalts will never have a rail gun and neither will the Burkes. This rail gun was designed around R & D money and to get more funding in the next fiscal year.

Mark

citanon
11 Apr 14,, 02:01
Sorry for the lack of clarity in my post. I never, ever, meant that the navy would mount a gun on an aircraft carrier. I was merely speaking about the engineering aspects of the Ford class. In my opinion, the Zumwalts will never have a rail gun and neither will the Burkes. This rail gun was designed around R & D money and to get more funding in the next fiscal year.

Mark

I thought the Zumwalt, in particular, was designed to accomodate a railgun. It already has the power systems and right now it looks like the gun might not be larger than a normal 5'' gun mount. The problem of the IPS on a non-IPS design like the Burkes is a different matter. I wonder if one could redesign newer Burkes to accomodate the extra equipment, particular if the VLS could be reduced in size in favor of more space efficient railgun magazines.

citanon
12 Apr 14,, 02:53
An interesting ship concept to go with the gun:

Introducing the Ballistic Missile Defense Ship (http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a560679b8-c876-4db3-8bfc-9594a14bf289)

36267

36268

36269

36270

85 gt kid
12 Apr 14,, 04:17
I thought the Zumwalt, in particular, was designed to accomodate a railgun. It already has the power systems and right now it looks like the gun might not be larger than a normal 5'' gun mount. The problem of the IPS on a non-IPS design like the Burkes is a different matter. I wonder if one could redesign newer Burkes to accomodate the extra equipment, particular if the VLS could be reduced in size in favor of more space efficient railgun magazines.

Problem is the capacitors that hold the charge for them. They're way too big to fit in a Zumwalt right now. As slow as technology like that is coming (trying to remember HS electronics class now) it will be awhile til thats rectified.

desertswo
12 Apr 14,, 05:09
The Zumwalts have plenty of power generation and will probably get this gun. With other ships it may be possible if they change to hybrid propulsion.

Remember 38 MJs is 1 second of electricity generation from a 38 MW generator.

Each Arleigh burke has 4 GE LM2500 gas turbines doing 20 MWs, which is more than enough power to keep a rail gun going full tilt even accounting for losses. The problem is that most of the power on the Arleigh Burkes are fed directly into the drive shaft and no electricity. If they switch to hybrid electric then you feed into a storage system, with power allocated as needed across different systems. This is what's in place on the Zumwalts.

Thus, if they convert the future flights of Arleigh Burkes into hybrid power systems, then they will have enough to put the rail gun on those destroyers as well.

The Ford probably has enough power but where will you fit the rail gun? And there is the EMALs and many other power hungry systems on that ship. My guess is they will leave that alone and put the gun on destroyers.

Just to clarify for readers. When you say "most" of the power on the Arleigh Burkes is fed right to the drive shaft and no electricity, what you mean is that the LM2500s when on line are connected to the lock trained dual pinion articulated double reduction gear via a clutch-brake assembly, and they drive the shaft and screw directly. You can operate one, with one screw in trail shaft. You can operate two with both shafts driven and driving, or if you really need to get somewhere you can put all four on the line and fly, but you are correct, in no way in the Spruance/Oliver Hazard Perry/Ticonderoga/Arleigh Burke hulls has electricity ever been generated by an LM2500. In the FFG7s it was diesel generators. The other three rely upon the Allison 501-K17 gas turbines, which is a marinized version of the same engine on a C-130. They have three of those. So far, the LM2500 has not been used to generate any electricity, but it certainly could.

citanon
12 Apr 14,, 05:41
Just to clarify for readers. When you say "most" of the power on the Arleigh Burkes is fed right to the drive shaft and no electricity, what you mean is that the LM2500s when on line are connected to the lock trained dual pinion articulated double reduction gear via a clutch-brake assembly, and they drive the shaft and screw directly. You can operate one, with one screw in trail shaft. You can operate two with both shafts driven and driving, or if you really need to get somewhere you can put all four on the line and fly, but you are correct, in no way in the Spruance/Oliver Hazard Perry/Ticonderoga/Arleigh Burke hulls has electricity ever been generated by an LM2500. In the FFG7s it was diesel generators. The other three rely upon the Allison 501-K17 gas turbines, which is a marinized version of the same engine on a C-130. They have three of those. So far, the LM2500 has not been used to generate any electricity, but it certainly could.

Sure SWO, that's uh precisely what I meant.... :wors:

desertswo
12 Apr 14,, 06:39
Sure SWO, that's uh precisely what I meant.... :wors:

Hey, when you spend the best years of your adult life doing this stuff, you just like to make sure that people understand what's really going on. There are a lot of moving pieces on all of these different classes of ships, and I am grateful as an operator, inspector, and instructor that I was able to learn a fair amount about all of them.

citanon
12 Apr 14,, 23:26
Man, even if this thing faces technical challenges in wide deployment on ships, think of the potential of fixed land based installations. The installations should be cheaper to put into place on land, space would not be an issue, and you would have nearly infinite magazines.

Several of these batteries could defend a military installation or a population center.

Imagine for example:

If you have half a dozen of these things around Guam, how many DF-21s will the Chinese have to shoot to cripple air operations?
What if you put in dozens of these around Israel?
What if you sell these systems to Taiwan?

What are the limits to their capabilities? Can guided shells flying up at Mach 7 stop ICBMs reentry vehicles falling down at Mach 25? If they can, what if you start putting these things around ICBM fields, strategic installations, major cities industrial centers and transportation hubs?

Then you also have our ongoing developments in the electric laser. Team up these two systems and you've got hugely cost effective, very high volume of fire defenses against everything from mortar shells to ballistic missiles.

This might be a game changer.

SteveDaPirate
14 Apr 14,, 16:20
For the immediate future, I think that railguns will be using ballistic ammunition to bombard targets on land and poke holes in ships and possibly aircraft. While I would imagine that you could shoot down an ICBM if you manage to hit it, my understanding is that modern RVs carry multiple decoys and are capable of at least limited evasive maneuvers on the way down.

To pull off an ICBM defense role, the railguns will probably need to shoot a projectile with terminal guidance. Considering all the trouble in developing a gun barrel that could survive more than a single shot, I’m not sure the components that would go into a guided projectile can currently survive an acceleration to mach 7+ in the length a railgun barrel. While rockets can ultimately go faster than a railgun projectile, they accelerate far slower.

desertswo
14 Apr 14,, 16:45
For the immediate future, I think that railguns will be using ballistic ammunition to bombard targets on land and poke holes in ships and possibly aircraft. While I would imagine that you could shoot down an ICBM if you manage to hit it, my understanding is that modern RVs carry multiple decoys and are capable of at least limited evasive maneuvers on the way down.

To pull off an ICBM defense role, the railguns will probably need to shoot a projectile with terminal guidance. Considering all the trouble in developing a gun barrel that could survive more than a single shot, I’m not sure the components that would go into a guided projectile can currently survive an acceleration to mach 7+ in the length a railgun barrel. While rockets can ultimately go faster than a railgun projectile, they accelerate far slower.

One wonders if there is a chance for a kinematic hard kill with a rail gun type weapon before the ICBM "calves?" Just a thought.

SteveDaPirate
14 Apr 14,, 17:05
One wonders if there is a chance for a kinematic hard kill with a rail gun type weapon before the ICBM "calves?" Just a thought.

I could see railguns on ships being used to try to hit ICBMs that are still in the boost phase or at least on a ballistic course before it dumps it's RVs. I have to wonder how quickly a railgun projectile would lose velocity due to friction with the atmosphere at those speeds. If it truly has a 100nm effective range in the lower atmosphere where drag is greatest, hitting a sub-orbital ballistic missile might not be out of the realm of possibility. Although I believe ICBMs often fly to around 650nm in altitude.

I am interested to see where this technology ends up heading, as it is still in it's infancy, and better materials and techniques will undoubtedly improve the range, payload, and flexibility of the system.

Stitch
14 Apr 14,, 17:19
So far, the LM2500 has not been used to generate any electricity, but it certainly could.

Well, the LM6000, the LM2500's "big brother", was originally designed for industrial power-generating applications, so it shouldn't be too hard to combine a vanilla LM2500 with the power generating accessories of the LM6000?

Blademaster
14 Apr 14,, 17:20
If it truly has a 100nm effective range in the lower atmosphere where drag is greatest, hitting a sub-orbital ballistic missile might not be out of the realm of possibility. Although I believe ICBMs often fly to around 650nm in altitude.


At 650nm in height, that is nearly 7 minutes of travel time for the projectile to reach there. A lot can happen in that 7 minute timeframe.

SteveDaPirate
14 Apr 14,, 18:23
At 650nm in height, that is nearly 7 minutes of travel time for the projectile to reach there. A lot can happen in that 7 minute timeframe.

I don't expect any 650nm shots to take place. You would need to engage the ballistic missile in the boost phase or in the case of a unitary missile possibly on the way down if it goes ballistic the whole way. In the real world, I don't see much chance of succeeding in such a feat without some form of terminal guidance for the railgun projectile.

If I remember correctly there were a number of challenges in creating a guidance system for the Excalibur 155mm guided artillery shells that would stand up to the punishment of being accelerated to 1700 mph in a gun barrel. I have no idea how they would make a guidance system that would survive accelerating to 5600 mph in a similar distance.

citanon
14 Apr 14,, 20:57
Steve,

You missed a couple of important things about the railgun.

1. They've solved the barrel problem.
2. The projectile is now guided.

That's why the navy is now so excited to test it at sea. They've solved the two hard technical problems that have stumped rail gun development for years.

SteveDaPirate
14 Apr 14,, 20:59
Steve,

You missed a couple of important things about the railgun.

1. They'be solved the barrel problem.
2. The projectile is now guided.

That's why the navy is now so excited to test it at sea. They've solved the two hard technical problems that has stumped rsilgun development for years.

I'd heard they had found a solution to the barrel deteriorating, where did you see that the projectile was guided? I'd like to read up on that.

desertswo
14 Apr 14,, 21:08
Well, the LM6000, the LM2500's "big brother", was originally designed for industrial power-generating applications, so it shouldn't be too hard to combine a vanilla LM2500 with the power generating accessories of the LM6000?

Yeah, the LM2500 has been used for power generation in power plant applications, like COGEN plants ashore, but not on a USN ship so far. Like I said, it certainly could, but they seem to be heading for the Rolls-Royce MT30 for that purpose.

Blademaster
14 Apr 14,, 21:40
2. The projectile is now guided.


How can it be guided if it is moving at Mach 7? There is not enough propellant in the projectile to alter its trajectory significantly. Not even maneuvering fins because the force would shear it off.

The only way it can be guided is to calculate its parabolic path or trajectory being influenced by gravity and aim it at a certain point with a certain amount of power.

citanon
14 Apr 14,, 22:15
I'd heard they had found a solution to the barrel deteriorating, where did you see that the projectile was guided? I'd like to read up on that.

http://defensetech.org/2014/01/16/navy-rail-gun-showing-promise/

Klunder also said it in his CBS news interview if you watch the video.


The 23-pound hyper-velocity projectile can be fired from a rail gun as well as from Navy 5-inch guns and even 155mm artillery weapons, Klunder added. The round currently has what’s called command guidance but may be engineered for self-guidance in the future.

In addition to range and lethality advantages, the rail gun is also much less expensive than other weapons in the Navy arsenal to operate — the rounds cost about $25,000 each, he added.

Read more: http://defensetech.org/2014/01/16/navy-rail-gun-showing-promise/#ixzz2ythovkpE
Defense.org


And if you scroll down the comment page, you may find a comment from an overly excitable guy saying:


HOLY **** THEY GOT GUIDANCE WORKING ON A HYPER-VELOCITY ROUND! :whome:



How can it be guided if it is moving at Mach 7? There is not enough propellant in the projectile to alter its trajectory significantly. Not even maneuvering fins because the force would shear it off.

The only way it can be guided is to calculate its parabolic path or trajectory being influenced by gravity and aim it at a certain point with a certain amount of power.

Blade, we've had aerodynamically maneuvered hypersonic vehicles for decades. Among them were the X-15 and the Space Shuttle. More relevant is perhaps this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MGM-31_Pershing#Reentry_vehicle

Blademaster
14 Apr 14,, 22:22
Blade, we've had aerodynamically guided hypersonic vehicles for decades. Among them were the X-15 and the Space Shuttle.

How much degree of movement could they do in an instance? Not much.

citanon
15 Apr 14,, 01:03
How much degree of movement could they do in an instance? Not much.

No idea how much a vehicle like the hypervelocity round could maneuver, but Adm Klunder seemed very excited about the use of his gun for air defense.

Gun Grape
15 Apr 14,, 01:47
How much degree of movement could they do in an instance? Not much.

With a 100 mile range it doesn't have to move much early in the trajectory.

Blademaster
15 Apr 14,, 16:26
With a 100 mile range it doesn't have to move much early in the trajectory.

against stationary targets, that is true but against moving targets that can fool and flummox targetting sensors, you do need more degree of movement to compensate.

Gun Grape
16 Apr 14,, 00:00
At Mach 7, the target doesn't get a lot of time to evade.

Mach 7 is approx 5,328 MPH.

That means the round is traveling about 89 Miles per second. Less than 1.25 seconds to go 100 miles.

In that time a plane going Mach 1 has traveled about 1400 feet.

Thats far less than 1 degree of movement as measured from the shooter.

Blademaster
16 Apr 14,, 00:21
At Mach 7, the target doesn't get a lot of time to evade.

Mach 7 is approx 5,328 MPH.

That means the round is traveling about 89 Miles per second. Less than 1.25 seconds to go 100 miles.

In that time a plane going Mach 1 has traveled about 1400 feet.

Thats far less than 1 degree of movement as measured from the shooter.

Errr.... I did the calculation for miles per second and your math needs some rechecking. To translate MPH to Miles per second, you have to divide that speed by 3600 which is 60 minutes times 60 seconds. So dividing 5,328 by 3600 gives us 1.48 miles per second. To travel 100 miles at 5328 mph would take 67.56 seconds which a lot can happen in that time frame.

So moving at Mach 1 is 720 MPH and dividing that by 3600 gives us .2 mile per second. Multiplying .2 miles per second with 67.56 seconds give us 13.51 miles of travel by the time that projectile gets there. So I am confident that it would require more than 1 degree of movement to do what you are talking about.

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 14,, 04:24
Errr, guys, it's Mach 8. Projectile is going towards the target at Mach 7 and the target is approaching at Mach 1. Mach 8.

The other question is, can the plane's radar detect something so small?

Gun Grape
16 Apr 14,, 04:40
Yea, I screwed the pooch on that one. 88 Miles per minute not per second,

Hey, Sometimes I think like a Jarhead:redface:

desertswo
16 Apr 14,, 05:13
Errr, guys, it's Mach 8. Projectile is going towards the target at Mach 7 and the target is approaching at Mach 1. Mach 8.

The other question is, can the plane's radar detect something so small?

The old AWG-9 in the F-14 could, but as you know, neither the plane, nor the radar are still around in the US Navy, and no one is quite sure of their status in the Iranian Air Force.

The new APY-9 radar in the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye can too. There's not much it doesn't see. I really love that airplane; I loved its predecessor too, but the Delta model is so far beyond what the Charlie brought to the table that it's not even Granny Smiths to Golden Delicious. It really is apples and oranges.

You know, the military fan boys out there get so wrapped around the axle about what the F-48 Superturd can supposedly do versus the Su-89 Vodkapiss, that they miss the entire point of what the fleet Tactical Action Officer (TAO) values above all else . . . "the bubble." Known to the average Joe as "the big picture," the bubble is the sine qua non of the war in the air, either over land or sea. The Advanced Hawkeye gives us that in spades. I mean, I have a difficult time explaining to you all what that airplane and its capabilities would mean to me if I was 30 to 35-ish again, and manning that console in a Ticonderoga, Arleigh Burke, or Zumwalt-class ship, with the whole range of fused sensor and IT information that the shipboard combat system suite can "pull" from the atmosphere, from satellite, drone, E-2D, E-3A, P-8, etc., other ships' sensor suites, and my own SPY-1B(V), the Arleigh Burke's SPY-1D, and Zumwalt's SPY-3, all sharing data via Link 16 or whatever else is next. An impressive array of electronics designed to detect and target opposing aircraft and missiles, but of everything I listed there, that Advanced Hawkeye is the critter that has my attention and my love. She helps that TAO at the console really keep a grip on the entire picture, and man, is it ever the cat's meow!:hug:

desertswo
16 Apr 14,, 05:15
Yea, I screwed the pooch on that one. 88 Miles per minute not per second,

Hey, Sometimes I think like a Jarhead:redface:

We all have our crosses to bear. :biggrin:

tbm3fan
16 Apr 14,, 05:18
The old AWG-9 in the F-14 could, but as you know, neither the plane, nor the radar are still around in the US Navy, and no one is quite sure of their status in the Iranian Air Force.

The new APY-9 radar in the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye can too. There's not much it doesn't see. I really love that airplane; I loved its predecessor too, but the Delta model is so far beyond what the Charlie brought to the table that it's not even Granny Smiths to Golden Delicious. It really is apples and oranges.

You know, the military fan boys out there get so wrapped around the axle about what the F-48 Superturd can supposedly do versus the Su-89 Vodkapiss, that they miss the entire point of what the fleet Tactical Action Officer (TAO) values above all else . . . "the bubble." Known to the average Joe as "the big picture," the bubble is the sine qua non of the war in the air, either over land or sea. The Advanced Hawkeye gives us that in spades. I mean, I have a difficult time explaining to you all what that airplane and its capabilities would mean to me if I was 30 to 35-ish again, and manning that console in a Ticonderoga, Arleigh Burke, or Zumwalt-class ship, with the whole range of fused sensor and IT information that the shipboard combat system suite can "pull" from the atmosphere, from satellite, drone, E-2D, E-3A, P-8, etc., other ships' sensor suites, and my own SPY-1B(V), the Arleigh Burke's SPY-1D, and Zumwalt's SPY-3, all sharing data via Link 16 or whatever else is next. An impressive array of electronics designed to detect and target opposing aircraft and missiles, but of everything I listed there, that Advanced Hawkeye is the critter that has my attention and my love. She helps that TAO at the console really keep a grip on the entire picture, and man, is it ever the cat's meow!:hug:

I know where one complete AWG-9 radar is.

Skywatcher
16 Apr 14,, 05:20
Errr, guys, it's Mach 8. Projectile is going towards the target at Mach 7 and the target is approaching at Mach 1. Mach 8.

The other question is, can the plane's radar detect something so small?

What about the IRST?

desertswo
16 Apr 14,, 05:21
I know where one complete AWG-9 radar is.

Let me guess; sitting either in Hornet's hangar bay, or up on deck? :cool:

Blademaster
16 Apr 14,, 05:21
Errr, guys, it's Mach 8. Projectile is going towards the target at Mach 7 and the target is approaching at Mach 1. Mach 8.

The other question is, can the plane's radar detect something so small?

It doesn't need to. The heat generating by the projectile streaking through the air will easily light up on the plane's infrared sensors. Even the air disturbance caused by the projectile's wake is enough to generate a radar return.

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 14,, 05:25
What's the effective range? The MiG-23s don't see the AIM54 launched from 100 miles out until it's too late.

desertswo
16 Apr 14,, 05:44
It doesn't need to. The heat generating by the projectile streaking through the air will easily light up on the plane's infrared sensors. Even the air disturbance caused by the projectile's wake is enough to generate a radar return.

That is another option. Has anyone ever noticed that there are always other ways to denude the feline? So it is with warfare. We (the US) come up with some great technological advance that gives us battle space dominance, and then "they" (and "they" is an ever evolving and often amorphous cloud of either single actors, formal alliances, or simply groups who are united by only one factor; their "hatred" or at least a national rivalry with the US) develop another technological advance that either levels the playing field, or tilts it in their favor. So it is with the rail gun. Already, it is generating responses.

Blademaster
16 Apr 14,, 05:48
What's the effective range? The MiG-23s don't see the AIM54 launched from 100 miles out until it's too late.

I thought we were referring to the rail gun projectile?

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 14,, 05:50
I'm using historic examples where the other side don't have the technology to counter the system. What's the effective detection range of a SU-27 on such a projectile?

Blademaster
16 Apr 14,, 05:52
I'm using historic examples where the other side don't have the technology to counter the system. What's the effective detection range of a SU-27 on such a projectile?

That I do not have enough data to form an opinion. But today, with Russian AWACs and ground control tracking radars and networking capability, I wouldn't be surprised if Russia can detect the projectile and vector the plane away from the incoming threat.

Soviet Union may not have this capability in the past but today, I would not bet against Russia.

desertswo
16 Apr 14,, 05:57
What's the effective range? The MiG-23s don't see the AIM54 launched from 100 miles out until it's too late.

Unfortunately, there aren't any US F-14s flying with Phoenix missiles hanging from their hard points. I love the photo below, but in the three years I served in an aircraft carrier with Tomcats assigned, and all of the years I spent in the fleet in other billets where I was involved with F-14s, I never saw one launch with a full bag of six Phoenix missiles like that. That is real, no fecal matter, "loaded for bear!" What I normally saw was something along the lines of two Phoenix, four Sparrow and a couple of Sidewinders, along with their 20mm gun ammo. That was a bad ass combat load out in its own right.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/AIM-54_6_Pack.jpg

I've probably told the story about how one of our F-14 squadrons had a cake baked for me, because I saved their Tomcat, it's crew, and a bag of Phoenix missiles. It wasn't all that dramatic, and yet, in many small ways, it was. Anyway, if I haven't related the experience, I will. Just not tonight. :Zzzzzz:

Blademaster
16 Apr 14,, 05:58
That is another option. Has anyone ever noticed that there are always other ways to denude the feline? So it is with warfare. We (the US) come up with some great technological advance that gives us battle space dominance, and then "they" (and "they" is an ever evolving and often amorphous cloud of either single actors, formal alliances, or simply groups who are united by only one factor; their "hatred" or at least a national rivalry with the US) develop another technological advance that either levels the playing field, or tilts it in their favor. So it is with the rail gun. Already, it is generating responses.

I still think that railguns are a good idea because battleships of the past could only fire shells within 20 miles to be effective and carriers with longer range had rendered those battleships obsolete. But the need for artillery barrage from the sea never went away because 90% of the world cities are close to the sea. Railguns with its longer range could allow modern day warships to launch artillery barrages without being threatened by planes.

But as an anti-ballistic missile program, I do not think it would work unless it has some sort of maneuvering system that allows to adjust as needed and close upon the target.

Blademaster
16 Apr 14,, 05:59
I've probably told the story about how one of our F-14 squadrons had a cake baked for me, because I saved their Tomcat, it's crew, and a bag of Phoenix missiles. It wasn't all that dramatic, and yet, in many small ways, it was. Anyway, if I haven't related the experience, I will. Just not tonight. :Zzzzzz:

Looking forward to reading your story, sir.

desertswo
16 Apr 14,, 05:59
That I do not have enough data to form an opinion. But today, with Russian AWACs and ground control tracking radars and networking capability, I wouldn't be surprised if Russia can detect the projectile and vector the plane away from the incoming threat.

Soviet Union may not have this capability in the past but today, I would not bet against Russia.

I would. Of course, you know I say that just to stir up the fecal matter. ;)

desertswo
16 Apr 14,, 06:03
Looking forward to reading your story, sir.

I look forward to telling it. Perhaps in another thread so as not to clutter this one up with the reminiscences of an old man.

Stitch
16 Apr 14,, 16:46
I know where one complete AWG-9 radar is.

Did they leave that in the F-14A onboard the Hornet, too? Last time I was onboard, the Aviation Merit Badge instructor (an ex-Navy pilot) was opening all kinds of panels on the F-14, and pretty much everything was still there. I noticed they'd left the TF-30's in there, too; that's usually something that gets yanked before a plane is handed over to a museum, even one as prestigious as the Hornet. But, then again, I guess there aren't too many people out there who really want a couple of old TF-30-P-100's, except for maybe Australia.