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Thread: US Navy installs experimental rail gun on JSV for trials.

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    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    US Navy installs experimental rail gun on JSV for trials.

    Here's the link to the article in the Navy Times

    http://http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/tech/2015/02/05/electromagnetic-railgun-expo-navy/22949243/

    And here's a photo that gives you a better idea of the scale. It's surprisingly compact.

    Attachment 39160
    Last edited by Monash; 10 Feb 15, at 02:51.

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    I recall reading somewhere that they have managed to shrink the banks of capacitors significantly, and that is apparently one of the breakthroughs that has allowed them to move from a lab to a ship. I am excited to see how it progresses and changes.

    I'm a little surprised at the way the gun is mounted as it doesn't appear to be able to turn side to side. I can't really tell if they can mess with the elevation or if it is fixed to the deck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    I recall reading somewhere that they have managed to shrink the banks of capacitors significantly, and that is apparently one of the breakthroughs that has allowed them to move from a lab to a ship. I am excited to see how it progresses and changes.

    I'm a little surprised at the way the gun is mounted as it doesn't appear to be able to turn side to side. I can't really tell if they can mess with the elevation or if it is fixed to the deck.
    It appears to me that it can be elevated, but not trained. That should be sufficient for determining its utility in terms of range and impact upon whatever it is shooting at. I saw this particular JHSV up close and personal about a month ago out in San Diego, and from what I can tell by the photo, the gun is pointed directly aft. I suspect that is to allow for the worst of the JHSV's operational constraints . . . it rolls like a big, freaking pig. If the gun is pointing aft or forward, fall of shot will be affected, but not nearly as much as if one had it trained to starboard or port. The ten degree rolls that this thing often encounters just loafing along would not be appreciated by those trying to get a sense of how this thing will perform. Regardless, I imagine the goats on San Clemente Island are in for an exhausting time of it.

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    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    I don't think it's intended to be elevated either, in spite of being mounted on an elevation pintle. There doesn't seem to be any mechanism for moving it- it appears to be the exact same set up as shown in the Navsea facility. I suspect the barrel is pintle mounted so that it can be leveled and that is it. I'd further guess that the barrel can't support it's own weight without flexing since both the BAE and the General Atomics rail guns seem to have a substantial number of barrel supports. I wonder if they will be hand loading this outside one shot at a time as well? Doesn't seem to have any kind of loader from what I can tell from the photo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    I don't think it's intended to be elevated either, in spite of being mounted on an elevation pintle. There doesn't seem to be any mechanism for moving it- it appears to be the exact same set up as shown in the Navsea facility. I suspect the barrel is pintle mounted so that it can be leveled and that is it. I'd further guess that the barrel can't support it's own weight without flexing since both the BAE and the General Atomics rail guns seem to have a substantial number of barrel supports. I wonder if they will be hand loading this outside one shot at a time as well? Doesn't seem to have any kind of loader from what I can tell from the photo.
    I thought about all that, and what would you say to a portable crane being used to raise the barrel in some sort of harness contraption? I don't have any inside info, but that is certainly "do-able" purely as a matter of logistics and space, unless there is concern about flex on the rail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    It appears to me that it can be elevated, but not trained. That should be sufficient for determining its utility in terms of range and impact upon whatever it is shooting at. I saw this particular JHSV up close and personal about a month ago out in San Diego, and from what I can tell by the photo, the gun is pointed directly aft. I suspect that is to allow for the worst of the JHSV's operational constraints . . . it rolls like a big, freaking pig. If the gun is pointing aft or forward, fall of shot will be affected, but not nearly as much as if one had it trained to starboard or port. The ten degree rolls that this thing often encounters just loafing along would not be appreciated by those trying to get a sense of how this thing will perform. Regardless, I imagine the goats on San Clemente Island are in for an exhausting time of it.
    POINTED DIRECTLY AFT?

    We had a Mechanical Engineer at LBNSY that was in the German Navy in WW II and he told me about this one northern harbor in Russia where they were outnumbered. But the Russians never attacked. Probably because the Russian torpedo boats had their tubes pointing aft.

    They would have to make a 180 degree turn to launch, so that was the time for the Germans to open up with their secondaries and even AA.

    I sense somebody has forgotten some history again. As usual.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    POINTED DIRECTLY AFT?

    We had a Mechanical Engineer at LBNSY that was in the German Navy in WW II and he told me about this one northern harbor in Russia where they were outnumbered. But the Russians never attacked. Probably because the Russian torpedo boats had their tubes pointing aft.

    They would have to make a 180 degree turn to launch, so that was the time for the Germans to open up with their secondaries and even AA.

    I sense somebody has forgotten some history again. As usual.
    Well clearly, this isn't intended to be a practical application for a combat systems platform. Rather, it is merely a way to deal with the rolling that the JHSV does, while testing the basic capability of this thing. You can compare this photo to the one above to see what I'm talking about.



    Those storage spaces and PRIFLY windows, are all oriented aft. The breach of the weapon basically backs up against all that. Meanwhile, you could back a "Tilly" (see below), or perhaps something like it but smaller, into that "alcove" over toward to starboard, where it is out of the way, yet could still extend over the flight deck to tug on that rail if the powers that be wanted to give that a shot. Otherwise, Don is right, it's just going to fire aft in a straight line. I don't know what you can learn from that, but that's why I don't get paid the big bucks.

    Last edited by desertswo; 09 Feb 15, at 22:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    POINTED DIRECTLY AFT?

    We had a Mechanical Engineer at LBNSY that was in the German Navy in WW II and he told me about this one northern harbor in Russia where they were outnumbered. But the Russians never attacked. Probably because the Russian torpedo boats had their tubes pointing aft.

    They would have to make a 180 degree turn to launch, so that was the time for the Germans to open up with their secondaries and even AA.

    I sense somebody has forgotten some history again. As usual.
    Rusty, JHSV is a "professional" testing platform. If the Navy ever needs it to fight then we are in trouble.

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    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    I'd guess the main things they can test are the effects of the marine environment on the equip, it's effect on ship's power, range. Maybe test it on a derelict?

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    Can anyone hazard a guess at the mass of the projectile. I'm just trying to get a feel for what the recoil forces would be like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Can anyone hazard a guess at the mass of the projectile. I'm just trying to get a feel for what the recoil forces would be like.
    No real clue as regards mass, because I don't believe anyone here knows the metallurgy of that slug. However, just a SWAG as regards weight, in this video of what appears to be the same or a very similar unit to that now installed on the JHSV, the CPO is loading something that looks to be the same size overall (although of a very different shape because it is a sabot meant to be driven down the rail under the influence of a controlled EMP, and then split off revealing the "dart" underneath) as a 76mm round, I am guessing the whole thing is no less than 30 pounds, and possibly a bit more, because I do believe, as your question implies, that mass is the major factor in its destructive energy. How that weight relates to mass though is still a matter of metallurgy and that is still the great unknown.


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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    I would expect the "dart" to be about as dense as they can make it in order to put the maximum amount of energy in the most aerodynamic profile. Depleted Uranium seems like a likely candidate as it combines very high density with a few other useful properties as a penetrator. A certain portion of the volume would also have to be devoted to whatever control mechanism the lab guys have devised that can survive the acceleration to Mach 7 in a fraction of a second.

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    Its supposed to be a 30 mj gun with mach 7 muzzle velocity so the projectile is ~10kg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post

    I love how every time a higher up from the Navy talks about this railgun on TV, the officer's eyes are bulging out of their sockets and the officer's face makes it look like he's about to burst a blood vessel.

    Thinking about this gun must be better than popping Viagra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Its supposed to be a 30 mj gun with mach 7 muzzle velocity so the projectile is ~10kg.
    With or without the sabot?

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