General Atomics (GA) is actively working to bring Advanced Electromagnetic Launch Technology to the U.S. Department of Defense in several important areas. GA is currently supporting the development of advanced pulsed power, launcher, and projectile technology as part of the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Railgun Innovative Naval Prototype Program.
Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun technology has rapidly matured over the last six years through the efforts of the ONR program and GA’s internally funded Blitzer™ Railgun program.
ONR’s program (in which GA is a major participant) has demonstrated tactically relevant muzzle energies. In addition, the collective effort has dramatically increased railgun bore life. Progress made through these collective efforts has provided compelling evidence to Navy leadership that the technology is rapidly maturing and ready for transition to the next phase of development and ultimate deployment.
Products and Technology
With the advantages of launch at speeds in excess of seven times the speed of sound, EM Railgun provides game-changing possibilities for both long range Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) missions far inland (+200 nautical miles) and for ship defense. EM Railguns provide numerous benefits over conventional guns, including: at least twice the muzzle velocity, faster time to target, greater range, higher lethality at range, no onboard propellant, and deeper magazines.
EM Pulse Power Systems
GA’s previous and current experience in the development of advanced Integrated Power Systems for Naval propulsion and weapons provides unique insights into the integration of this weapon system in future electric warships.