US Navy railgun

The US Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) have placed an order with K2 Energy Solutions for an intermediate energy storage battery system for the electromagnetic railgun.

As part of the $81.2m order, K2 will be responsible for design and engineering, as well as the provision of associated support for the lithium-ion batteries and storage system required to power the application.

The latest agreement follows an initial contract awarded in July, with the delivery of the system expected to be completed by 2016.

Being the major component in the navy’s electromagnetic railgun, the advanced energy storage system will power the capacitor bank modules that can launch a projectile at a very high rate of speed.

“This opportunity allows us to showcase technology created by K2 Energy.”

With the prototypes built by General Atomics and BAE Systems, the railgun aims to fire ten rounds a minute without using propellants, while its muzzle velocities could surpass Mach 6.

K2 Energy Operations vice-president Stewart Graham said: “This opportunity allows us to showcase technology created by K2 Energy and help us reach our goal of expanding our manufacturing capacity in Henderson, Nevada.”

In addition to military applications, K2 Energy has also built high-energy and high-power cell battery technologies for medical, industrial and utility applications.

Image: The firing of NAVSEA’s electromagnetic railgun. Photo: courtesy of K2 Solutions.