General Atomics Team Awarded $22 Million to Continue Work on Railgun Demonstration Launcher


Apr 20, 2009

San Diego, Calif., 20 April, 2009. General Atomics (GA) announces the award of a follow-on task order valued at $22 million from the Office of Naval Research for the completion of an Advanced Containment Launcher (ACL) in support of the Office of Naval Research’s Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) Railgun program. This 34-month effort is focused on the final design, fabrication, and testing of an ACL prototype capable of delivering a muzzle energy of 32 megajoules. This level of energy in a tactical application would provide a range of up to 110 nautical miles, which is far greater than any conventional guns currently in use by the Navy. GA recently completed the previous phase of the program involving the preliminary design and technology development of the ACL that culminated in successful completion of a Preliminary Design Review.

“This program is an important demonstration of GA’s capability and commitment through internal investments toward providing cutting-edge, game-changing technology to the warfighter” states Scott Forney, Vice President of General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Division ( In addition to GA, the team includes Boeing, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, L-3 Communications Pulse Sciences, Jackson Engineering, and SPARTA Composites.

The rail gun launcher technology uses high power electromagnetic thrust instead of explosive chemical propellants to launch a projectile farther and faster than any preceding gun. The eventual fielded system is expected to launch guided projectiles at speeds up to Mach 7.5 with a range of more than 200 nautical miles.

In this business area, GA is also developing a direct-fire railgun system for ship and air defense use, is providing high energy capacitor banks to the Navy to support laboratory testing at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, VA, and has developed transportable pulsed power systems for testing of railgun systems at remote test ranges.

General Atomics is a San Diego-based innovation firm with a 50-year history of successful solutions for environmental, energy, and defense challenges. Affiliated manufacturing and commercial service companies include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., which produces the Predator® family of unmanned aircraft systems.

For further information contact:

Tom Hurn
Director, Advanced Weapon Launcher Programs
(858) 676-7233

Joel Patton
Director, Strategic Business
Electromagnetic Systems Division
(703) 682-6838

Doug Fouquet
Public Relations
(858) 455-2173


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