General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has developed a high-energy pulsed power container (HEPPC) is designed to deliver twice the energy density currently offered by existing railgun pulsed power solutions.
The HEPPC can offer enhanced flexibility for the future navy and army railgun applications by reducing the number of pulsed power containers needed to launch projectiles or hybrid missiles from a railgun weapon system.
GA-EMS Missile Defence and Space Systems vice-president Nick Bucci said: “For the past decade, GA-EMS has provided pulsed power in support of the navy's railgun programme.
“Our next generation HEPPC breaks our own energy density record and exceeds the capabilities of other available railgun pulsed power container solutions.
“What we have packed into a ten-foot standard shipping container is equivalent to what is currently available in a 20ft shipping container, doubling the energy density to provide greater flexibility for ship and land-based installations and manoeuvrability for mobile applications.”
GA-EMS internally funded the development of the HEPPC in support of a multi-mission medium range railgun weapons system, which combines pulsed power, launcher, hybrid missile, and fire control technologies.
Each HEPPC features high-energy pulsed power modules that have an energy content of more than 415kJ per module, and uses GA-EMS’ high-energy density capacitors.
Bucci added: “The HEPPC represents our commitment to pioneering the development of critical power and energy technologies to support the military's current and future operational requirements.
“We continue to invest in and advance railgun technologies. We are performing risk reduction and technology maturation, and testing hybrid missiles under real-world conditions to provide critical capabilities needed to counter complex threats, cost effectively.”
Railguns are used to launch hybrid missiles using electromagnetic forces in place of chemical propellants, and can offer muzzle velocities greater than twice those of conventional guns.
GA-EMS' railgun technology is capable of launching hybrid missiles with shorter time-to-target and greater effectiveness at longer range when incorporated with a railgun weapon system.