I don’t really mind that the Navy decided to cancel railgun development but their given reason is disturbing.
Navy ditches futuristic railgun, eyes hypersonic missiles instead
By AP, 1 July 2021
The Navy spent more than a decade developing the electromagnetic railgun and once considered putting them on the stealthy new Zumwalt-class destroyers built at Maine’s Bath Iron Works.
But the Defense Department is turning its attention to hypersonic missiles to keep up with China and Russia, and the Navy cut funding for railgun research from its latest budget proposal.
“The railgun is, for the moment, dead,” said Matthew Caris, a defense analyst at Avascent Group, a consulting firm.
The removal of funding suggests the Navy saw both challenges in implementing the technology as well as shortcomings in the projectiles’ range compared to hypersonic missiles, he said.
The Navy’s decision to pause research at year’s end frees up resources for hypersonic missiles, directed-energy systems like lasers and electronic warfare systems, said Lt. Courtney Callaghan, a Navy spokesperson.
Those two programs are not equivalent.
Railguns are ballistic and require a nearby physical presence. Missiles are guided and potentially unlimited range. Different roles, different intended operating environments, etc.
[Railgun] technology was close to making the leap from science fiction to reality in the 21st century with the testing of prototypes.
Which suggests that the railgun program was doomed. Cancel the project at the moment that working prototypes are demanded? What a coincidence.
I think we Americans (in a world in which we’d want a militarily strong USG) should bring back the battleship. It would be a more cost-effective solution than missile frigates for lower-intensity Naval conflict and offshore support. Railguns make sense for that because they don’t need gunpowder stores and the Navy nuclear program was great until we handed it off to Latrina.
For war against a peer/rival, our submarine fleet is already a proven solution.
Certainly, we need something to replace the aircraft carrier with, something that we could (politically speaking) afford to lose. Too Big To Fail is a concept for Wall Street thieves, not military deployments.
But there were a number of problems, including the range of about 110 miles in testing. A Navy vessel could not employ the gun without putting itself within range of a barrage of enemy missiles.
110 Miles is awesome for a ship-mounted gun, especially if accurate. Our previous record was, what, 35 miles?
This speaks to the insecurity and megalomania of our leaders. They don’t want accountability. They don’t want risk. They crave deniability, omnipotence and not needing help from potential dissidents. Pushing a button to launch a cruise missile in the dead of night against any spot on the planet? Textbook Deep State. Parking a ship offshore where it can be photographed unloading on them goat farmers? Absolutely unacceptable.
Now then, what’s this about keeping up with China and Russia?
They’re developing hypersonic missiles to kill our carriers with. Cruise missile salvos are too expensive for sustained conflict but ideal for one-shot surprise attacks against an enemy with Too Big To Fail mentality. USA doesn’t need that kind of missile. We already have (ahem) aircraft carriers for long-range projection of force. If we’re going to keep up with the Jonses then hypersonic missile defense would be sensible.
We already know that our imposter-leaders are not aware of the outside world. They literally fenced off reality as soon as they stole the election and since then, have been living entirely within the theaters of their solipsist, scheming minds… people so insecure, egotistical and guilty-conscienced that they want to hide behind face masks forever.
So, naturally, when the Military-Industrial Complex decided they needed more funding for their Forever Wars, they spooked D.C. into thinking that we needed to keep up with Russian-Chinese military tech. Never mind that their naval tech is specifically and obviously intended to Pearl-Harbor our trademark carrier groups. If we don’t have carrier killers of our own then the Russians will win!
And in the process, they got permission to cover up their inability to produce results for a half-billion-dollar investment. Not that the railgun program is a total writeoff:
This is a picture of Superman: the Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain, a roller coaster park in Los Angeles. It’s a Navy railgun, an attempt to build a replacement for the steam catapult that our carriers use to launch aircraft. The Navy couldn’t get it to work so in a rare moment of creative salvage, they sold the plans to the roller coaster industry.
Six Flags built it then brought in NASA and other eggheads to solve the magnet-synchronization issues. They succeeded. Our F-14s are still launched with steam but for an unreasonable entry fee, you can be electromagnetically launched into a full 8 seconds of weightlessness!
Information gleaned during testing will be retained in the event the Office of Naval Research wants to pick up where it left off in the future, she said.
Bon voyage, paper trail!