Friday 15 May 2015

Navy Will Test Its Electromagnetic Railgun aboard DDG 1000



The New Electromagnetic Rail Gun Weapon

According to officials, `the navy is speculating whether to mount the new Electromagnetic Rail Gun weapon aboard the high tech DDG 1000 destroyed by mid 2020a. As reported by Program Manager for Directed Energy and Electric Weapon Systems, Capt. Mike Ziv, at the Navy League’s 2015 Sea Air Space symposium at National Harbour, Md., the DDG 1000’s Integrated Power System has been providing a huge amount of on board electricity adequate to accommodate the weapon.

The first of the three planned DDG 1000 destroyers was named in April last year. Ziv had reported that Navy leaders were of the belief that the DDG 1000 is the right ship to house the rail gun though the additional study was essential to examine the dangers. A difficult study on the same should be completed by the end of this year according to Ziv. He further adds that he thinks that it is an ideal platform and there is little bit more work to be done to understand the details.

 The DDG 1000 is said to be 65% larger than the prevailing 9,500 ton Aegis cruisers and destroyers with a displacement of 15,482 tons.

Plans to Test Fire Electromagnetic Rail Gun At Sea – Summer 2016

The integrated power system of the DDG 1000 that includes its electric propulsion enables to generate about 58 megawatts of on-board electric power probably seen as key to the future with regards to the possibility of firing a rail gun.

There is a possibility that someday, the weapon could be configured to fire from DDG 51 Arleigh Burke class destroyers. The Navy has plans to test fire its new Electromagnetic Rail Gun for the first time at sea, in summer of 2016 from on board the USNS Trenton, which is a Joint High Speed Vessel, according to service officials.

Test shots would take place at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla; and at the time of the test, the rail fun would fire a series of GPS guided hypervelocity projectiles at a barge floating on the ocean around 25 to 50 nautical miles away.Ziv informs that `they would be firing it against a floating target and they are trying to gauge the ability of engaging a target over the horizon. Moreover they are also going to have a gradual ramp up and gather data. This would be a significant event though it is also a key learning point’.

Wide Range of At-Sea/Land Based Application

The Navy is said to be developing the rail gun weapon for a wide range of at-sea as well as possible land-based application, according to Ziv and the weapon can fire guided, high speed projectiles more than 100 miles, making it suitable for cruise missile defense, ballistic missile defense and various kinds of surface warfare applications.

 Besides this, the rail gun utilises electrical energy to develop a magnetic field and propel a kinetic energy projectile at Mach 8.5 towards a wide range to target something similar to an enemy vehicles or ballistic missiles and cruise. The weapon is said to operate when electrical power charges up a pulse forming network.

The pulse forming network comprises of capacitors that are able to release large quantity of energy in a short span of time and releases a current on the order of 3 to 5 million amps which is 1,200 volts released in a ten millisecond time frame.

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