Modern warfare is a very high – stakes game and it seems the U.S. is winning it from inside the military research and development laboratories, where weaponry scientist are inventing the future as we speak. We have talked in the past about the impact of robotics on the military technology, but now the latest news speak about a Star Wars weapon for the U.S. Navy, a futuristic device that is able to
fire a low-cost, 23-pound (10-kg) projectile at seven times the speed of sound using electromagnetic energy
Read this again: the weapon can fire a projectile at seven times the speed of sound, which is, in dry air, at sea level, 343 meters per second (1,125 ft/s). This is 767 mph, 1 kilometer in three seconds or 1 mile in five seconds. Multiply that by seven and see what this weapon is really capable of. Just as Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, the chief of Naval Research said when asked about this new warfare technology, this Star Wars weapon for the U.S. Navy will give any enemy a reason to ponder a minute whether they should attack a U.S. vessel or go home.
The technology isn’t brand new, as the electromagnetic rail gun has been in development for quite some time now and has already been tested on land, but it will begin sea trials sometimes in 2016, when it will be mounted on a high speed vessel called the USNS Millinocket. The greatest thing about this futuristic (and actually real) weapon is not the speed of sound factor, but the low cost which this killing machine operates on, and this is the real advantage: it can deal an unimaginable level of damage to almost any enemy with an unimaginable low cost.
Quoting the officials, Reuters gives us a clear image of the leverage the U.S. Navy could gain by using this weapon:
We’re talking about a projectile that we’re going to send well over 100 miles, we’re talking about a projectile that can go over Mach 7, we’re talking about a projectile that can go well into the atmosphere.
While the sea trials are scheduled for 2016, starting with 2018, the electromagnetic rail gun system will be installed on warships.