The US Navy has tested a new railgun at the Dahlgren naval facilities in Virginia. What’s different about this railgun? This gun is powered by electricity – not chemicals- and is being described as “Star Wars technology.”

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The railgun can fire a projectile at Mach 6 speed with it’s “pulse power system.” The weapon has been able to penetrate concrete over 100 miles away.

With this technology, the Navy would no longer need to store explosives on ships. Instead they’ll use the kinetic energy of the railgun to fire projectiles. This will cut down on the risk of explosions onboard naval ships, and consequently, the death of crew members.

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Railguns are seemingly the latest and greatest in advance warfare. The Navy’s science and technology department has been tasked with making new technology a reality. Since 2005 the Navy has been reportedly working on a railgun prototype.

They spent the first seven or so years developing the pulsed power technology. In 2012, they started on phase II of the project which focused in on launching capabilities.

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Fox’s defense analyst, Allison Barrie, commented on the testing of the railgun last year and seemed to agree with the Navy,”We’ve got to move away from gunpowder,” she said. “The future is lasers and electromagnetic railguns.”

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A similar device was shown off last year called the Blitzer railgun and was able to fire a missile at 4,500 MPH. This gun is the equivalent of the railgun being shown off today.

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The weapon has the capability of hitting land, sea, and air objects with efficiency. With less need to keep explosives on ships, the Navy states it could save them millions of dollars and provide additional safety to those on board.

“This is so important in terms of maintaining naval dominance and in ensuring the United States has absolute naval, maritime superiority going forward in the future,” added Barrie.

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The future is here and advanced warfare weapons will be a large part of it. The railgun seems to be a positive alternative to chemicals or explosives. Weapons such as these will ensure America continues to be a super power to be reckoned with.