Home » Aviation » Navy Wants Rail Guns to Fight Ballistic and Supersonic Missiles Says RFI


Navy Wants Rail Guns to Fight Ballistic and Supersonic Missiles Says RFI

n artist rendering shows the Office of Naval Research-funded electromagnetic railgun installed aboard the joint high-speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV- 3). US Navy Image

n artist rendering shows the Office of Naval Research-funded electromagnetic railgun installed aboard the joint high-speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV- 3). US Navy Image

Fighting ballistic missiles, stealthy targets, swarmed surface and supersonic threats are high on the Pentagon’s wish list for its future electromagnetic rail gun, according to a request for information (RFI) for a rail gun fire control systems from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) that posted in Dec. 22 but was quickly taken down.

The RFI for rail gun fire control systems was pulled because it posted earlier than intended due to a clerical error, NAVSEA officials told USNI News on Monday. The final announcement will repost on FedBizOpps later this month.

Regardless, the rescinded RFI — issued by NAVSEA on behalf of Directed Energy and Electric Weapons Program Office (PMS 405), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) — gives major hints in how the U.S. wants to employ future rail guns.

The RFI sought a prototype system for a, “multi-mission railgun weapon system to support detect, track and engagement of ballistic missiles and air and watercraft threats,” by 2018 and an operational weapon by 2025.

NASEA asked industry to address at least one of the following areas:

  • Ability to track low [radar cross section] (stealth) targets at extended ranges
  • Electronically scanned coverage (FOV) of greater than 90 degrees in azimuth and elevation
  • Endo atmospheric tracking and engagement of ballistic missile targets
  • Environmental clutter rejection (weather, surface, biological)
  • Support raid handling for ballistic missile, Anti-Air Warfare and Surface engagements
  • Simultaneous tracking of inbound targets and outbound supersonic projectiles

The document did not outline speeds or ranges NAVSEA is seeking for the effort. In addition to air threats, the RFI also stressed the ability for the system to track and attack surface targets.

The timing of the operational capability — in the 2020 to 2025 timeframe — suggests the Navy may look to include an EM rail gun on its next generation large surface combatant. The follow-on to the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and the Ticonderoga-class cruisers is in its earliest phases of development and planned to start construction in 2028, the service told USNI News last year.

EM rail guns have been advertised by the service for years as a solution to the ongoing problem of more stealthy and faster guided weapons that threaten naval vessels and aircraft.

 A high-speed camera captures the first full-energy shots from the Office of Naval Research-funded electromagnetic railgun prototype launcher in 2012. US Navy Photo

A high-speed camera captures the first full-energy shots from the Office of Naval Research-funded electromagnetic railgun prototype launcher in 2012. US Navy Photo

“It would be able to shoot down cruise missiles coming in that are relatively close,” retired Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Gary Roughead told USNI News in 2013. “The electromagnetic rail gun is really horizon to horizon; if it flies, it dies.”

The Navy’s current systems — created mostly in the late 1970s — are designed to tackle air threats with expensive missiles as best expressed in the Aegis combat system found on the Navy’s guided missile destroyers and cruisers. The template of the Standard Missile (SM) and the radar system has been adapted to handle ballistic missile but at the cost of more than $11 million per missile.

Rail guns promise to handle air threats with ammunition that is cheaper to produce, with a larger magazine and a higher rate of fire.

The weapons project a round by creating an electromagnetic field that pushes the round at tremendous force along two charged rails without the use of any type of combustion. The round gets its destructive power from its speed — which can be five times faster than the speed of sound — when it hits the target.

Though the fundamentals are sound, building reliable rail guns is challenging.

One of the two electromagnetic railgun prototypes on display aboard the joint high speed vessel USS Millinocket (JHSV 3) in port at Naval Station San Diego, Calif. US Navy Photo

One of the two electromagnetic railgun prototypes on display aboard the joint high speed vessel USS Millinocket (JHSV-3) in port at Naval Station San Diego, Calif. US Navy Photo

Not only do the weapons require a tremendous amount of power — sometimes in short supply on naval vessels — the rails want to pull themselves apart every time the weapon is fired. In addition to the power requirements and the engineering task of keeping the weapon whole, the Navy also has had to develop a system to quickly pulse the energy through the rails to gain the velocity needed to reach supersonic speeds.

So far, ONR has demonstrated it can fire a 32-megajoule weapon — capable of launching a projectile more than 100 miles — and now is working on creating a reliable weapon that can sustain repeated use.

Next year, the Navy will test a prototype rail gun on the joint high-speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV-3) — from rail gun manufactures BAE Systems or General Atomics — for the first round of at sea testing.

  • AKO

    The financialization of the American economy

    American De-Industrialization
    Continues Unabated

    America’s economic elite has long argued that the country does not need an industrial base. The economies in states such as California and Michigan that have lost their industrial base, however, belie that claim. Without an industrial base, an increase in consumer spending, which pulled the country out of past recessions, will not put Americans back to work. Without an industrial base, the nation’s trade deficit will continue to grow. Without an industrial base, stranded in low-paying service-sector jobs. Without an industrial base, the United States will be increasingly dependent on foreign manufacturers even for its key military technology.

    Deindustrialization led to rising costs for weapons development

    The U.S. is becoming dependent on countries such as UK, Russia, France and Germany for critical weapons technology.

    • Michael Rich

      Can you gtfo with your spam? Thanks.

      • AKO

        The financialization of the American economy

        American industry is about to collapse

        If American industry collapse

        American military will collapse

        The next Rome empire collapsed

        • Michael Rich

          retarded people…retarded people everywhere.

          • AKO

            Don’t you see I’m trying to tell the truth?

            The relationship between the real economy and the virtual economy is an issue of global significance

            A major feature in the development of a modern economy is the considerable development of a monetary and financial system on the basis of agriculture, industry, and other sectors of the real economy, which leads to the increasing financialization of the entire economy. However, in some countries, the sharp increase and virtualization of financial capital has inevitably led to the hollowing-out of the real economy, giving rise to an unstable structure whereby the virtual economy outweighs the real economy.

            Since the latter half of the last century, many developed countries have become increasingly dependent on finance. Faced with a lack of vitality and innovation in their industries and waning international competitiveness, these countries have become increasingly reliant on financial operation and macroeconomic policies as a means of sustaining economic growth. However, the adoption of stimulus and easing policies, which is tantamount to eroding the monetary standard and relaxing fiscal controls, encourages the unchecked expansion of the virtual economy in order to compensate for the decline of the real economy. This imbalance between the virtual and real economies can be regarded as one of the fundamental causes of the global financial crisis and the ongoing recession at present. The over-bloated financial systems in these countries eventually collapsed due to their loss of confidence in the real economy. In a bid to save their failing financial systems, however, these countries have had no choice but to adopt a policy of monetary easing, even though this will eventually do more harm than good. To this day there is still no end in sight.

            For example, some enterprises have acquired private capital through banks and the stock market to fund their rash expansion, while others have relied on non-core business investments in the financial sector and real estate to gain profits. As a result, national resources have entered the virtual economy in increasing amounts, and in turn this has led to the financialization of assets and the emergence of an asset bubble. Against this backdrop, speculation has become prevalent, and a small minority who have made it rich overnight have become the subject of much admiration. This is undermining the foundation for the steady development of the real economy.

            The original purpose of financial activities was to serve the real economy and support the development of industries in the real economy. But if this relationship is turned on its head and the real economy becomes a medium for financial speculation, the economy will lose its long-term competitiveness and basis for growth.

            The real economy is the major driving force for the sustainable and stable growth of the economy

            The fundamental purpose of human economic activities is to satisfy the ever-growing material and cultural demands of the people. Therefore, all economic activities that bear practical significance form a part of the real economy. The direct acquisition of resources from nature by humans is what we refer to as primary industry. In a modern economy, however, the lack of demand elasticity and relatively low growth rates in the primary industry will cause the gradual decrease of primary industry in proportion to overall economic output.

            The conversion of natural materials acquired through primary industry into various goods and products is what we refer to as secondary industry. This sector primarily comprises of industry, construction, and the supply of water and power. The single most important aspect of secondary industry is the manufacturing industry. In a modern economy, the demand elasticity for products in the secondary industry is considerable. In this industry, the widespread utilization of inventions in science and technology is able to boost labor productivity and lower unit costs whilst increasing output by significant margins. Periods of industrialization have witnessed faster economic growth and greater wealth accumulation than any other period in human history.

            Economic activities that fall outside the primary and secondary industries are referred to as tertiary industry. The tertiary sector mainly comprises of the following three areas: The first area is direct services, in which people provide services directly via their physical labor and skills. Sustained increases in labor productivity are generally hard to achieve with these services, which display a tendency for prices per unit of output to increase. The second area is industrial services, or in other words, services which are supported by industrial technologies. Labor productivity in this sector increases along with constant innovations and progress in industrial technologies, which means that prices per unit of output are likely to drop. The third area is financial services, which refers to economic activities involving monetary and financial operation. The nature of this sector is to serve the primary and secondary industries. However, it is also possible for this sector to expand and give rise to a large number of financial derivatives, thereby leading to the financialization of products in the primary and secondary industries.

            The first aspect of the tertiary industry as mentioned above is generally referred to as the traditional service industry, while the second and third aspects tend to be classed as the modern service industry. In the broad sense, the real economy comprises of the primary industry, the secondary industry, the direct service industry, and the industrial services industry. During the process of industrialization, the primary constituent of the real economy is the secondary industry, especially the manufacturing industry, which acts as the major driving force behind economic growth. As the economy develops, the proportion that the tertiary industry accounts for in the economy will increase on a constant basis. This is an inevitable trend that will emerge when the right conditions are in place. On one hand, a more developed industrial foundation allows for the accelerated development of industrial services. On the other hand, the dropping price of industrial products and increasing price of services result in a significant rise in the proportion of tertiary industry according to current prices.

            It should be emphasized that the development of the financial sector as a part of the tertiary industry is of practical significance when it is limited to serving the real economy. Within these boundaries, the services provided by the financial sector are conducive to the growth of the real economy. However, the self-expansion of the financial sector beyond this point will encourage the excessive financialization of products and assets in the real economy. In turn, this will create a bubble in the virtual economy, which, like a “black hole,” will draw in and trap large amounts of social resources. The development of this bubble will ultimately jeopardize the normal operation of the real economy and give rise to huge financial risks.

          • Michael Rich

            I honestly don’t give a fuck about what you are saying, neither does anyone on this site. Take your spam back to info wars with the rest of your tin hat wearing friends.

          • Secundius

            @ AKO.

            A Virtual Economy is like a Virtual War, your can Program in the parameters. In the Real World, you have Real Variables that keep getting in the way…

    • Ctrot

      USNI is censoring my comments yet you let spam like this go?

  • Pingback: Alert 5 » U.S. Navy wants railgun to shot down stealth, ballistic targets - Military Aviation News()

  • NavySubNuke

    Good news. Right now we shoot down a missile that costs a few million with a standard missile that costs in the multimillions. If we can do this with a rail gun that will change that equation significantly. Oh and you should be able to carry thousands of rounds of “ammo” for your rail gun instead of being forced to choose how to allocate your VLS slots between land attack and self defense missiles.

    • James B.

      If we can achieve a rapid-fire rail gun, we can lay down pattern barrages to kill small or maneuvering targets, which will dramatically reduce the threat posed by swarms and massed attacks by low-tech opponents.

    • Secundius

      @ NavySubNuke.

      So your solution is o allow a Carrier Battle Group to be attacked, just because you don’t want the waste a ten-Million dollar defensive missile on a one-Million dollar offensive missile. Great trade off…

      • NavySubNuke

        No – my solution is to keep using standard missiles to defend the battle group until something better like a rail gun comes along. Let me know if that is too difficult a concept for you and I will try to use smaller words to explain it to you….

        • Secundius

          @ NavySubNuke;

          There’s the “Non-Standard, Standard” as it is called or RIM-174A Standard Missile VI (SM-6). It should come on line within the next two-years, it will not however replace the current SM-2. But supplement the existing SM-2, it is an Extended-Range Anti-Missile Interceptor with speeds in excess of Mach 4 (?) at least that’s what the literature say’s, range is not known at this time but probably in excess of 200nm.

    • old guy

      HOWZAT? your going to use a shotgun shell for land attack. I’m sorry, but in my state POT-SMOKING is illegal!

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        Actually it’s not a absurd as it sounds, during WW1 American Doughboy’s use to use Browning Auto 5 automatic 12-gauge shotguns to take out incoming German thrown “Potato Masher” hand grenades as they were thrown at them. It’s like Skeet Shooting with a Explosive Twist…

        • old guy

          NO,NO I was referring to Navysubnuke implying that you could use a rapid fire AA round in shore bombardment. The concept of shotgun-like rounds against missiles, torpedoes and anti-missile missiles was heavily researched by me and others. I am an advocate. We had one bird we called “FULL HOUSE” because it was an:
          ANTI-[ANTI-MISSILE-MISSILE]-MISSILE. Get it?
          Also don’t forget MIRVs.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Well the 40mm Bofors was use quite of by Brown-Water Naval Forces for that purpose and I think the US Army with their M42 Duster’s did the same thing. I’d rather go with an “Abbreviation Buster/BB” round or a “Three-Surface Bearing” Round…

          • NavySubNuke

            Not what I said at all – what I said was that if we had rail guns to use to shoot down incoming projectiles we wouldn’t have to choose between loading our VLS cells with self defense missiles (i.e. standard missiles) or land attack missiles (i.e. TLAMs) —– we could allocate the VLS cells to the TLAMs.
            Also there is no reason you couldn’t use rail guns to strike land targets – particularly lightly armed ones. It wouldn’t be much use against a bunker but it should chew up light stuff pretty well.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            You are joking sir, aren’t you. A Mach 7.0 projectile releases as much energy on impact of ~59.6-Mega-Joules or like getting hit by a 11,023-pound bus traveling at ~316mph or ~31-lbs. of TNT…

          • NavySubNuke

            Great – but I still don’t think it will do very well against heavy armor (I.e. an abrams tank) since it isn’t designed to penetrate such armor and it will take a lot of shots to do any real damage to area targets.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            The latest M1A3 Abrams main battle tank’s, M256 120mm/55-caliber “smoothbore” gun. Has a Muzzle Velocity of ~5,700-ft./sec. and gun range of ~8,000-meters or ~Mach 5.1 compared to the Rail Guns ~7,815.06-ft./sec. or Mach 7.0 and a projectile range in excess ~160,000-meters. Which of the two contenders is going to come out with Knock-Out Blow, hummm…

          • NavySubNuke

            Yes but the Abrams is firing an armor piercing fin stabilized slug of depleted uranium specifically designed to open up armored targets like a can of tuna. I don’t know enough about the rail gun ammo selection to know for sure but I do know there is more to armor penetration then just sheer energy. Energy counts for a lot but there are other factors involved.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            The Abrams Depleted-Uranium Dart is ~7-pound Kinetic Energy PENETRATION dart capable of going THROUGH ~26.4-inches of RHA Steel at POINT-BLANK range and ~18.1-inches of RHA Steel at 4,000-meters. While the Rail-Gun’s 2-1/2-foot long Tungsten Dart or even a Depleted-Uranium Dart, weighting ~33-pounds. Which after hitting it’s target turn from a SOLID MASS into HIGH-ENERGY PLASMA (like on a TiG-Welder) that will completely EVISCERATE it’s target on impact. They call the projectile in Latin, “Velocitas Eradico”. Which mean’s: “I, [who am] speed, eradicate”. The only way the Abrams tank is going to get a Knock-Out Blow, is for this ship to be moored alone the wharf with nobody on it…

          • NavySubNuke

            I didn’t ask who would win in a duel – I asked who would win in an armor penetration contest.
            And it is a little premature to be specifying ammo types and energy amounts for a system that has only worked in test fires – lets see what it can do once it is actually deployed on a ship!

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            Your not GRASPING, Sir. It’s simple number’s of distance. An Abrams tank, has a maximum range of only 8,000-meters. The Zumwalt’s Rail Guns have a 2,000% advantage over the Abrams tank. The weakest spot’s on a Tank is the top of the turret (i.e. Entry Hatches). All the Zumwalt has to do is hit one of those hatches, and it all over for the tank and it crew. Also keep in mind the Zumwalt has TWO Rail Gun, against the Abrams ONE Smoothbore Gun…

          • NavySubNuke

            It is you who isn’t grasping what I am talking about – once again I am NOT talking about who would win a duel between the two. I am talking about whose gun would win a contest based only on armor penetration – i.e. hang up two sheets of abrams armor that is five feet thick and they each fire a single shot at it and see whose shot penetrates farther.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            If Rail Gun doesn’t actually kill an Abrams Tank with is Chobham-Armor. A Mach 7 projectile hitting the tank, will surely fry every electronic component in the tank and still kill its crew, by Blunt Force Trauma alone…

          • NavySubNuke

            And if we were talking about the two of them in a gun duel your post might have a point. But again, I think your ideas are a bit premature considering the rail gun only works in a lab. Lets wait and see what it looks like when (if?) it gets to a ship. Regardless, great concept that is definitely worth the relatively modest investment the Navy has been making in it.

          • NavySubNuke

            Also – the Zumwalt does not have two rails gun – it has zero rail guns at this time. They hope to one day install two but that is still years away from being realized.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            I’ve never heard of one case of a Tank vs. Navy Ship gun duel, where the tank came out on top. If you can find one case where that actually happened, let me know…

          • old guy

            GOTCHA, SORRY, Getting’ old

          • old guy

            GOTCHA, SORRY, Getting’ old

  • old guy

    35 years ago, in cooperation with the AEC and DOE, we SUCCESSFULLY fired a large caliber electro,thermal chemical (ETC) deck gun and a high cyclic rate ETC gun and developed the electro-mechanical catapult. It was clear, at that time that we had the right applications for each, but a few gung ho slugs killed both. Only the catapult was revived. We could easily have had the ETC gun operational, but for these myopic guys. This “fire control” problem is a hoax.

  • Secundius

    I don’t see any difficulty in firing a Smart Projectile from a Rail Gun, than from a Naval Artillery Gun…

  • Please reserve your comments to the subject at hand and refrain from repeating the same comments on multiple posts.

    • J_kies

      Sir
      Railguns throwing ‘rocks’ with some poor rep-rate and frequent barrel replacement do not advance past the merits of the Krupp ‘Paris gun’.

      Please consider a story on the resources being invested in launch survivable terminally guided projectiles and current claims for when such projectiles will be available. A citation of the Navy budget lines associated with such research would add credibility to the marketing assertions.

      • Secundius

        @ J_kies.

        Sir, were not talking about Railroad Rail Guns. Were talking about Gauss Cannons (Linear Accelerators), propellant less guns using “magnetic fields” energy to launch their projectiles…

        • J_kies

          If we were talking to powder guns then we would have terminally guided projectiles. The launch environment of the railgun is much worse than a powder gun due to those electo-magnetic fields effectively drawing an enormous arc either through or close to the projectile making electronics and mechanisms very problematic.

          • Secundius

            @ J_kies.

            Saltwater has been plaguing mankind since the inception of the 1st ship, the 1st application of naval ordnance. I sure all these factors have been discussed and rediscussed thousands of times. There come a time when you have to put theory to practice, see if you labors come to truevision, or were you just “Pissing-Into-the-Wind”.

          • J_kies

            Ok belittle the question if you will –
            Where is the useful ammunition for the “Gauss cannon”?
            No electronics in the shells means no proximity fuses, IMUs or seekers to address windage. Dumb shells out of a fancy cannon is no better than really expensive urination as stated.

          • Secundius

            @ J_kies.

            A “Rail Gun” Projectile is essentially a “Dumb Round”, probably a “Tungsten Kinetic Energy Dart” similar to the ones used in the M1A3 Abrams Tank. It destroys by energy transfer of the kinetic energy stored in the dart, that was transferred into the dart after launching it. NO EXPLOSIVE CHARGE. A Smart Projectile is different, because it not only has an “explosive charge” but it also has the kinetic energy transferred into the projectile after launching. And a Smart Projectile has a added bonus, it can actually guide itself to the target…

          • J_kies

            All the KE in the world doesn’t help when you miss. Given the stated target list above (Missiles, RVs, stealthy airframes…) smart projectiles aren’t optional. The launch environment of the railgun (that arc) is non-survivable for current powder gun ‘smart projectile’ hardware.

          • Secundius

            @ J_kies.

            If you know of a better system, you supply the answers. This is a open forum and their asking for idea’s. The closest thing to a Mass Driver Cannon is a Catapult. So instead of criticizing, come up with idea’s…

  • Secundius

    You setup the the perimeters for the questionnaire. If you don’t like the Answers, Don’t ask the Questions…

  • publius_maximus_III

    Accuracy for such a weapon, especially on a rolling ship at sea, would be very difficult to achieve in my opinion. With a stated range of 100 miles, and with no corrections to its trajectory once it leaves the railgun, a projectile could be off target by about 1.75 miles at a distance 100 miles for just one-degree error in aim. My thought is a better use for such a weapon would be close-in targeting, say ten miles or less, where the speed of the railgun projectile could close on a target rapidly and thus allow multiple bursts at corrected aims within a very short period of time. The reduced target distance would greatly improve accuracy.

    • James B.

      Navies have been working on stabilizing their platforms for long-range gunfire for at least a hundred years now. I can’t guarantee they’ve fixed the problem, but I guarantee you aren’t the first to consider it.

    • Secundius

      @ publius_maximus_III.

      Most modern Naval Artillery Gun Systems are Gyro-Stabilized, and can hit a designated target area within 3-meters. A Smart Projectile, all you need to do is get it into the air, and on-board guidance will do the rest. And with “differential gps” your talking within inches, not meters…

    • Secundius

      @ publius_maximus_III.

      Your 1.75 mile deviation is the result of a “Dumb Projectile” being fired. A “Smart Projectile” would correct for the deviation error. As far as a “Point Defensive Weapon”, at 10-statue miles, traveling at ~Mach 7 is ~6.76-seconds. If your referring to 10-nm, traveling at ~Mach 7 is ~7.77-seconds. Not a lot of time for correcting for aimed shots, even using a “smart projectile”. A Laser Defense System would be a better choice…

      • publius_maximus_III

        How about this: you have the rail gun programmed to sweep a small spiral pattern, centered about the initial aiming direction, sending out projectiles in that pattern at a high rate.
        .
        Another option would be to include a “tracer” projectile every few rounds with some sort of electronic feedback device in it, to help the radar images of incoming and outgoing blips converge into a collision?
        .
        Or how about a proximity fuse in the rail gun projectiles, to explode them whenever they are close to the target? But then things start to get expensive. The “cheapness” of the rail gun ammo comes from the high rate of change in momentum of the projectile at contact, not from any explosive energy.

        • Secundius

          @ publius_maximus_III.

          Like a 21st century “Canister Shot” with a Proximity Fuse. I was thing along the lines of the same thing. But my idea was a “Snare Projectile” with a Proximity Fuse. As the projectile gets close to it target the proximity fuse fires a “snare/capture netting material”, probably made of “Graphene” and weighted at the edges. It doesn’t need to destroy the target, it just needs to deviate is trajectory, foul the guidance system…

          • old guy

            Reminds me of the successful (but not fielded) WOW (Wall of Water) system that I proposed and successfully tested in the late 70’s. to counter supersonic anti-ship, surface skimmer missiles that couldn’t be precision targeted. The concept fired a large line charge 300 ft. long, parallel to the ship and several hundred yards off the beam. The resulting WOW deflected the incoming round, like your net. Worked like a charm. We got up to 6 second effective water hang times. A Mach 2 missile (~2200 fps) couldn’t maneuver around it. Great fun and economical, too. Myopic heads prevailed.

          • Secundius

            @ old gun.

            Funny that you mentioned the “Wall of Water” trick. I’ve been thinking of a systems like that for the last six-months. Glade to see, even if I didn’t actually see-it work, Worked. LOL…

          • old guy

            Torpedoes are relatively easy. During the DOD’s Balanced Technology Initiative (BTI) Program we developed an anti-torpedo, torpedo that put out an elliptical field protecting the sub. If the torpedo was outside the destructive ellipse it was a miss, anyway.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Could also probably Deflect, Disable or Kill a “Supercavitation” Torpedo too. Just by the “Shock-Wave” going though the water…

          • old guy

            During the 70s, my brilliant guys cooked up more great (usable) ideas than could be funded. After Z left and Holloway came in, the only things we got through were AALC (now LCAC), Crane ship, DDG and DDM (now DDG51). After Lehman came in, it all ended.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Technically NOT, is just went to another branch of service. The US. Army, The M58 MICLIC (Mine Clearance Line Charge), is 350-feet long and is packed with 5-pounds of C4 per linear foot. The complete systems weights ~1,750-pounds and will blow a minefield pathway ~8-meters by ~100-meters…

          • old guy

            Believe it or not, I was PM for Martin’s M-3 Minefield Demolition Skid in the early ’60s. We made 3,000 of them. 12′ long, 3′ beam, 18″high. 3 compartments; forward one, a rocket launcher self-erecting, when you blew the cover off. It fired a Kidde rocket attached to the M58 line charge, in the middle compartment. The rear compartment contained the Bazooka rocket that was attached to the cover, tools and the combination tow cable and control cable, that fired it. The procedure was to attach the cable to the skid, connect the electrical to the firing mechanism and to the towing tank (each tank towed 3 skids. The operator had a stepping control switch which on 1st click separated the skid from the tank, the 2nd click fired the cover rocket, and the 3rd click fired the charge.
            In a test at APG, we fired the 3 charges in 45seconds, clearing over 1000 feet of minefield in under a minute. It was where I got the idea for WOW.
            I tried to get the Army, during Desert storm, to use them, but they were over 25 years old (their shelf life) so they wouldn’t even test the bunch we still had.
            You bring back memories. Incidentally, if you want to go into production, I have the plans in my basement. Also, the Marines used the same launcher and charge off of a truck.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            A “Two-for-One” system. tow it from a (New FF class) 10 or 20-feet below the surface. One system tow take out Anti-shipping Missiles with the “Rooster Tail” wall of water. The other to create a Acoustic Shockwave to deflect or destroy “supercavitation” Torpedoes…

        • Secundius

          @ publius_maximus_III

          I was just thinking, a standard proximity fuse is set at 2, 4 and 10-meter ranges with a projectile travel at ~3,000-ft./sec. At “rail gun” velocities of ~20,000-ft./sec. by the time the proximity sensor trips, you would have overshot the target…

          • publius_maximus_III

            Not to mention the incoming speed of the attacking missle or warhead, for an even greater relative closing speed…

          • Secundius

            @ publius_maximus_III.

            The only alternative I can see at this point, is to take a page out of history (WW2 History). Put up a “wall of lead” where to incoming threat has to fly through the wall to get to its target. It either that , or more Laser Defense Systems…

  • Secundius

    Use it or lose it. In WW1, the US. Government didn’t want the field the BAR, the Thompson and a number of other weapons. To the slaughtering fields of the battlefront, their reasoning “If their capture, the enemy can copy it and us it against us”. Expensive paperweights, doorstops they are if your that afraid to use them…

  • ADM64

    Could land-based rail guns be used for ballistic missile defense? Seems something like that was proposed back in the 80s for point defense of ICBM fields. The new tech might improve on that.

    • Secundius

      @ ADM64.

      Other then those to test the “shipborne” feasibility study, what Land Base Rail Guns are there…

      • ADM64

        None that I am aware of. I was asking whether such technology might be applied to develop them for this application.

        • Secundius

          @ ADM64.

          I don’t see why not, the only difference between a missile and shell is the delivery system. A missile is technically classified as an tubeless artillery round. If a “smart round” can withstand the 20,000-g jolt of coming out of a gun barrel it should be able to withstand the “g” forces from a Rail Gun.

          • old guy

            To repeat
            1. 35 years ago, in cooperation with the AEC and DOE, we SUCCESSFULLY fired a large caliber electro,thermal chemical (ETC) deck gun and a high cyclic rate ETC gun and developed the electro-mechanical catapult. It was clear, at that time that we had the right applications for each, but a few gung ho slugs killed both. Only the catapult was revived. We could easily have had the ETC gun operational, but for these myopic guys.
            2. This “fire control” problem is a hoax. All of the stated objectives of the RFI are available today.

            3. The main advantage of ETC over RAIL is that, because you use plasma converted water as the propellant, the electrical requirements, for rapid fire, are much lower.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            The first application of Steam as a reaction mass, was by Hero of Alexandria around 1st century BCE. The “Aeolipile” or Radial Steam Turbine. I think Arthur C. Clarke’s Orion Space Plane in 2001, was a Nuclear-Powered/Heated Water Reaction Mass, Steam Rocket. Some people call it “lunacy”, but wasn’t the Wright Brother’s “Flyer” created out of Lunacy…

          • old guy

            This was NOT steam. You should learn something about plasmas before you opine. Plasmas are a different state of matter. The high amperage discharge forms an extremely high energy, programmable propellant. Check the results we obtained. It is darn annoying when ignorance, posing as intelligence, blabbers on.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Maybe, memory a little faulty, but water was reaction mass used as propellant. Discovery One, used Liquid Ammonia…

          • old guy

            Not the point. I could present the complete program in which we used many media, but the point is obscured by your equating plasma with steam.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Then what is the point. Are you saying that Steam can not be used as a Propulsion Thrust Force. I’m just pointing out a different application of the use of a Reaction Medium. It would be very hard to detect and track a “steam” trail, because of it’s ability to cool down and turn back into a liquid water like “rain”.

          • old guy

            The point is the energy available in a plasma versus a gas.
            However, your suggestion of steam would make a great use for retired carrier catapults and it would be a messier, but equivalent to the rail gun.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            The original goal of the Rail Gun Artillery System was to have a range of 280-miles at Mach 10 speed. Well the system currently being tested and deployed is only capable of Mach 7 speed with a range of between 100 to 150-miles. I’m assuming by adding a Smart Projectile with an additional Reaction Mass or Ram/Scram Jet Propulsion System to make-up the “short-fall” of the range differential. This is why I’m putting out additional Propellant/Propulsion Alternatives…

          • old guy

            The only reason for having this thing is to destroy something, not set speed records. The rail gun requires this acceleration to occur over a rather short period, This can be easily achieved by a staged missile with much less wear and tear and cost. I did hypersonic tests at Cornell Aero lab 60, yes 60 years ago. Easily done, no advantage. Reason short range, high cost per bang; long range, little detection advantage. Work that we did with smart, maneuverable rounds, whether, stuttering ballistic or surface hugger (depending on range) had a better, simpler and easier payoff.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Sir, I’m not looking for speed records either, I’m looking to make-up the short-fall gap in the range…

          • old guy

            what about a RAP (Rocket Assisted Projectile)?

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Gas or solid world be ideal with an magnesium containment vessel, to add/and or be a secondary explosive. Not to thick or it won’t combust, 1/3-weight and 3 times stronger than aluminium. Liquid or “slush” propellant requires pressurized containment with additional weight. The SR-71, leaked like a sieve…

          • old guy

            Believe it or not, I worked with Kelly Johnson on the Lunar Orbiter Shroud. It was made of Mag-Thorium, a very strong, light alloy, but slightly radioactive. You brought back a pleasant memory. He was an incredible man.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Never heard of the Alloy, I always associated Radioactive Materials as being “Dense” and heavy. Not lightweight. Need to research more thoroughly. I always thought the “Shroud” was a 6000 grade or 7000 grade aluminium…

          • old guy

            I’m looking for a reference. The shroud was low bid by bMartin, but Boeing (who built the Orbiter) finagled NASA to let them build it. The Mg Th was GFE. At the delivery, the shroud fell off the hook, 50 ft. up and smashed to smithereens. Since it was a FFP contract, Boeing lost its shirt.

  • KenPrescott

    When do they issue the RFP for sharks with frickin’ lasers? :o)

    • Secundius

      @ KenPrescott.

      If your referring to GhostSwimmers, Their Biomechanical, tethered, and mimic the swimming of sharks. And as far as I know they don’t have laser’s…

    • Secundius

      @ KenPrescott.

      Saw the same picture as you did, though no article to the picture. I’m assuming it was a “satirical picture”, no credence to it…

  • Pingback: Watcher of Weasels » Watcher’s Council Nominations – GOP Agonistes Edition()

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Council Nominations – GOP Agonistes Edition | therightplanet.com()

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Council Nominations – GOP Agonistes Edition | NoisyRoom.net()

  • Pingback: Trevor Loudon's New Zeal Blog » Watcher’s Council Nominations – GOP Agonistes Edition()

  • Secundius

    I’m sort of curious, but why does the Artist rendering look more like a Trebuchet than a Naval Gun Mount…

    • old guy

      Just picked this up. HILARIOUS.

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        It beckon’s the question. Is there a Hidden Meaning in the picture

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        Tell me if it sounds “farfetch’d”, an Acoustic Wall to protect our Naval Ship’s. Brazil’s Sao Paulo University has developed a Non-Resonant Acoustic Levitator to suspend and object with sound. How about applying the same principle, instead of levitating something. But creating a Acoustic Barrier or Wall around a ship. Have an enemy missile or artillery projectile, slamming into the wall instead of the ship. To others and to be frank, to me also it sounds like Sheer Lunacy. But than again is sounds like it could work…

        • old guy

          Far be it for an old R&Der like me to dismiss what could be a great idea, but, as I understand it, Its a sort of a momentum problem. If you spread a load over a wide area, like a jumper on a trampoline, the energy can be absorbed or even retuned. However, if he were wearing a sharply pointed pair of shoes they would easily penetrate (lots of ballistic examples). The shield would have to concentrate its resistance at the impact point, to resist. If, somehow, you could detect the threat and focus the shield’s counterforce there you’d have a chance. Some of Capt. Skolnik’s work in the 80’s was in that direction.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            I was just a thought, some people call me an “Oscillatory Thinker”, always thinking on the edge of the established norm,,,

          • old guy

            No, I would just classify you as a THINKER, no adjectives needed.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Thanks…

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Council Nominations! | www.independentsentinel.com()

  • Pingback: This week’s Watcher’s Council nominations()

  • Pingback: Watcher of Weasels » The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results()

  • Pingback: The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results | Virginia Right!()

  • Pingback: The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 01/09/15 | NoisyRoom.net()

  • Pingback: Trevor Loudon's New Zeal Blog » The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 01/09/15()

  • Pingback: The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 01/09/15 | therightplanet.com()

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Council Articles! | www.independentsentinel.com()

  • Foton

    The navy had better have a lot of capacitors. Between the laser weapon systems, rail guns and other systems the capacitor banks on Naval ships will be huge. I hope everything works out.

    • old guy

      Exactly. Please see my comments of 6 days ago. The ETC gun requirements are a fraction of the rail gun.

      • Secundius

        @ old gun.

        You comments on what I called the “etcetera” gun, because of the ETC acronyms. Caught my attention, I remember sitting in an airport, back in he early to mid ’80’s. On a travel available stand-by-mode plan, and reading this article about a Naval Test Gun of 60mm-caliber. Which use a “gas propellant charge” and fired by and extremely high temperature arc spark, to send the projectile on it’s way. I don’t no if this is that same Gun System. I’m assuming the test “failed” or just got cancelled, because I never heard about that test since, until your posting came on my e-mail disqus account…

        • old guy

          You’ve got it. We NEVER had a failure. The DOE and Navsea 003 pushed it hard, but the SEA06 crowd won out by the glamour of the rail gun. As I said before the Electric rail catapult, a similar system, which we were working at Lakehurst was a success. It makes sense, whereas the shipboard rail gun doesn’t.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            I think President Ronald Reagan’s “heavy hand” had a lot to do with it too. It wasn’t exotic enough, he wan’t’d an Energy based “Star Wars” US. Navy within his lifetime. Similar to Kennedy’s goal of put a “Man On the Moon” before 1970.

          • old guy

            The problem was SECNAV, Lehman. He was so obsessed with getting the BBs reactivated, that he stole money from many good programs. In my case, he wanted armored box launchers on these almost useless ships so he ripped off 43 meg of 6.3 funds to get them.
            Interesting aside. One of the first things that Clinton did when he got into office was to cancel this 3.6 billion dollar fiasco.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            I heard the SECNAV, Lehman had problems, but I didn’t know it went that far…

          • old guy

            A genuine Wall St. clown. Last month he had a big article touting the V-22, just before the decision to buy a bunch surfaced. Maybe a little insider trading here? What a bum.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Looks a “latrine” full of @#$% just hit the fan. An American/Malayan Shipwright named Leonard Glenn Francis, based in Singapore. Called Glenn Defense Marine has be bilking the US Navy for tune of ~$200-Million USD. Envolving at least six nations (Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the USA) and two-Admirals. This should be very interesting…

      • Foton

        I read your other comments and looked up the ETC gun. It’s an interesting technology. I like the Navy’s rail gun technology, it’s just the things they’re doing.

        They’ve made so many promises that are not entirely true. I remember reading quotes how great this technology will be and easy for it to be powered aboard ships. But when a person looks into things, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

        Ships will need significant electrical upgrades for rail guns. Currently they are saying they will field a 32 MJ launcher. But the reality is the Navy wants a 64 MJ launcher; plus if they want to have an affective punch and range they need to double that again. So in reality the Navy wants a 128 MJ launcher.

    • Secundius

      @ Foton.

      The Capacitor’s for the Rail Gun system on the DDG-1000, USS. Zumwalt, take up almost 20% of the ship’s internal volume…

      • Foton

        If this is a fairly accurate assessment, it sounds like a much larger ship is required.

        • Secundius

          @ Foton.

          It may have to come to that just yet, DARPA is weighing options to convert or “scratch modify” some San Antonia class Gator-Freighters, into Interim Arsenal Ship’s w/288-cell VLS and one Rail Gun. In 2020, they have more ambitious ~500-cell VLS with one Rail Gun or `1,000-cell VLS without Rail Guns Arsenal Ship planned…

          • Foton

            That’s an interesting option. I wonder if it would be possible to take Iowa-class battleships out of museum duty. Refurbish them into what the Navy requires. It would be expensive, but would it be cheaper than making a real new adequate platform?

          • Secundius

            @ Foton.

            Here’s a Radical Plan for you. The Mk. 57 VLS measures 26-feet x 14.2-feet x 7.25-feet. A standard TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) or Cargo Container measures 20-feet x 8-feet x 8.5-feet. A standard PANAMAX class Container Ship is ~965-feet x 106-feet x 37.5-feet, draft, and weighs ~72,500-tons standard w/sea-lift capacity of 52,500-tonnes. ~3,125 Mk. 57 4-cell VLS will fit on the deck of a Panamax, totaling ~12,500 missiles. Convert an existing PANAMAX into an Uber-Arsenal Ship…

          • Foton

            I like your creative thinking. I was suggesting the battleship since it would have enough electrical capacity to power any DEW with space for further upgrades. The ship could also take quite a bit of damage and still function.

          • Secundius

            @ Foton.

            Thanks, “Edge Thinker” always thinking on the edge. After the Korean War, when existing Battleships were on the In-Decommission, Out-Again Active Service Plan. In 1958, the US. Navy proposed the concept of a Battle Carrier, hybrid Battleships/Aircraft Carrier supporting ~30 aircrafts. It stalled and went nowhere. Then, again in 1961 an Amphibious Battleship with 1,800 Marines and Supporting Equipment and Air Group. Again, nowhere. After Reagan took office, they tried to repatriate the Battle Carrier concept again, this time Funding was the killer. To, reintroduce the Battle Carrier concept would cost ~$1.5-Billion (2015) USD, Instead of a Battle Carrier concept, Arsenal/Bombardment Ship. The best of “Two-Worlds”, approximate cost of conversion ~$930-Million USD. But that doesn’t include Battleship reactivation costs and upgrading existing systems. Total cost between $2-Billion and $3-Billion USD., the KILLER. It would probable be Cheaper just to build an New (Missile Only) Arsenal Ship, than to “convert and reactive” an deactivated WW2 Battlship. And Cheaper still to convert an “Double-Hulled Super Tanker or Container Ship…

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Council winners for 1/9/15()

  • Pingback: The Council Has Spoken!()

  • Pingback: The Razor » Blog Archive » Council Submissions: January 7, 2015()

  • Pingback: The Razor » Blog Archive » The Council Has Spoken: January 9, 2015()

  • Pingback: The Future of Warfare? : Quiet Mike()

  • Pingback: The Future of Warfare?()

  • Pingback: The 4th Media » US Navy’s Deadly New Gun Won’t Be Ready for Some Time()

  • Will

    I think we should just use powdered guns we already have them

  • Pingback: Naval Railgun FAQ 1.0 | hephaestusaetnaean()

  • Pingback: Contractor Rfi Template | swimming - swimming pool contractor companies()

  • Pingback: Contractor Rfi Template | shower - bathroom contractors()

  • Pingback: Contractor Rfi Template | roofing - roof contractor quotes()