General Atomics to support US NAVSEA railgun pulse power systems


Railgun

The US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has awarded a contract to General Atomics (GA) to conduct research, development, fabrication and testing of power supply modules that will be integrated on railgun pulse power containers.

The agreement is a modification to GA's existing deal with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for the design and development of the electromagnetic railgun repetition rate pulse power system.

Each container integrates several modules that deliver compact, energy-dense, portable energy to launch projectiles from the electromagnetic railgun launcher.

Deliveries of the three prototype containers are set for this year and 30% of the work will be undertaken in San Diego, with the remaining 70% at GA's manufacturing facility in Tupelo, US.

GA Missile Defense Systems vice-president Nick Bucci said: "This award reflects the continued success in developing pulsed power technology through our partnership with the navy."

"The railgun is capable of firing ten rounds a minute without using propellants."

Last month, the ONR and NAVSEA ordered an intermediate energy storage battery system for the electromagnetic railgun from K2 Energy Solutions.

The advanced energy storage system, which is claimed to be the major element in the navy's electromagnetic railgun, will power the capacitor bank modules that are capable of launching a projectile at a very high rate of speed.

The railgun is capable of firing ten rounds a minute without using propellants and its muzzle velocities can reportedly surpass Mach 6.


Image: The launch of NAVSEA's electromagnetic railgun. Photo: courtesy of K2 Solutions.