Electromagnetic Rail Gun

Lab Representatives

Electromagnetic Rail Gun

An Electromagnetic Rail Gun (EMRG) is a long-range weapon that fires projectiles using an electrically induced magnetic field instead of chemical propellants. EMRG projectiles have several advantages over long-range (conventional) or extended range (rocket-boosted with guidance system) munitions. EMRG projectiles are smaller, have greater range, and do not require propellants or explosive warheads, making the projectiles easier to store and transport.

However, there are several technology challenges with such EMRG systems, including high power requirements (making mobility difficult) and high barrel wear.

General Atomics Electro-Magnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has spent several years developing a 10 Mega Joule land mobile EMRG prototype using Independent Research and Development (IRA&D) funds and other internal investments. A primary goal of GA-EMS’s EMRG design is the capability to integrate the weapon with existing Army land systems that complement conventional capabilities, providing an effective counter to aircraft, rocket and cruise missile raids as well as other threats. The GA-EMS EMRG has been designed to fire a Rail Launched Guided Projectile to intercept stationary targets between five and eight kilometers away.

Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), GA-EMS and the US Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Command (ARDEC) exchanged information relating to the system that led to design improvements or enhancements. GA-EMS also provided ARDEC with funding, compensating ARDEC’s resource commitments allowing access to personnel and facilities that would not otherwise be available.

The CRADA was eventually transitioned to a contract awarded to GA-ESM from the US Army through the Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC) to evaluate and mature electromagnetic railgun weapon system capabilities to support ARDEC. The three-year period of performance contract will team GA-ESM with ARDEC to advance railgun technologies, deliver a series of prototypes, and perform system integration and testing for mission effectiveness and possible integration with existing and future Army vehicles.

Contact: David Y. Lee, (973) 724-1466, David.y.lee.civ@mail.mil

Region: 
Northeast