Navy unveils electromagnetic railgun that can shoot projectiles 5,000 mph

SAN DIEGO (KSWB/CNN) – The U.S. Navy on Tuesday showed off it’s high speed “railgun,” a $250 million project expected to change the way America fights wars.

The railgun is a long-range weapon that fires projectiles using electricity generated from the ship instead of gunpowder.

The projectile weighs around 25 pounds and travels more than 5,000 miles per hour. It would be like going from San Diego to San Francisco in one minute.

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 5.50.45 PMNavy officials compare its power to the impact of a freight train traveling 100-miles per hour into a building.

“It can shoot down ballistic missiles.It can shoot down very advanced cruise missiles. It can shoot down fast moving aircrafts,” said Mattew L. Klunder, Chief of Naval Research. “It`s extremely safe and its extremely effective.”

According to Navy officials, the electromagnetic force accelerates the missile to Mach 7.5 and it can go as estimated 50 to 100 nautical miles.

“At the end of the day they can throw anything in the sky at us and we can knock it out,” said Klunder.

The Navy showed off the railgun on Tuesday at the naval base in San Diego.

It isn’t expected to replace traditional missiles but its cost is about a fraction of the money at $25,000 per projectile.

“We want the American public to know now that we have a gun system that is so effective and so affordable that now our advisories will know that before they even try to do something to our nation that they will never win,” said Klunder.

The railgun is scheduled to go aboard a new “joint high speed vessel” cargo ship for further testing in 2016 before it becomes operational in 2018.

Courtesy: CNN Newsource