Railgun, anyone?

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Firov
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by Firov »

It's interesting that they're proceeding with sea trials. That indicates, at least to me, that they somehow worked around the rail erosion problem, which, as I recall, used to force them to replace the rails after almost every shot. Anyone happen to know how they did that?

As for power generation, I doubt there are many ships capable of powering this thing directly. Maybe the Zumwalt, which was originally designed with this railgun in mind (hence the hybrid electric drive), but really as long as there's room for a sufficiently large capacitor bank it shouldn't be a huge problem. It's going to have a reduced rate of fire once you deplete the capacitor's charge since you'll have to dump power from the ship's generator into the capacitors after every shot, but it should still be a fairly capable weapons system. At least you'll be able to increase the rate of fire by turning off the lights... [:D]
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jdkbph
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by jdkbph »

ORIGINAL: AlmightyTallest
Well, from my experiences in the defense industry, if you advertise a product, the military customer usually is interested in the displayed characteristics shown in your ad. If you can't supply a product that matches what your advertising, you usually end up with a very angry military customer who could pull the plug on your entire project.

Interesting. I'm assuming you're talking private sales? My experience in the defense industry (DoD procurement/contract management for major weapons systems) - at least when it comes to commercial advertising - is pretty much the opposite. You take everything with a large grain of salt until you see it in contract form. And even then you're dealing with waivers and deviations.

I'm not saying it ain't cool... or the stuff of the near future. I just don't think we're quite there yet. The primary reason is the high energy requirements... along with the effects on conventional materials.

In this video ad they show an computer animated weapon firing off 2 or 3 rounds in rapid succession. There's no info there regarding time needed to prepare for the first shot. Capacitors can work here but they need to be charged. Without cryogenics there's no practical way that I know of to keep them charged indefinitely (eg, for ready use). There's no info regarding the actual interval between shots. The advertized "high rate of fire" capability is totally subjective. Even if that was a legit depiction of it's ability to fire off 2 or 3 rounds in rapid succession, there's no info regarding how long the interval might be between shots 3 and 4. Did they wear out a barrel? Did they deplete a capacitor? How long to recharge or replace components?

My personal opinion is that neither of these issues will be satisfactorily resolved until some form of practical super-conductor becomes available. Until then we may be stuck in tech demo/PoC mode with these things. Or at best, limited deployment on specialized, purpose built platforms... eg, a next gen nuclear powered surface warship, or perhaps a transportable (but not necessarily mobile) power plant that can generate sufficient energy to power the weapon on demand.

JD
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AlmightyTallest
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by AlmightyTallest »

We never dealt in private sales, we manufactured weapons systems some of which were experimental prototypes according to specification for Army, Navy and Air Force.

But your correct about the details being hammered out in contracts and specifications. I was guessing that because of the ad, they were describing a scenario that required rapid engagement of multiple inbound missiles and then quick counterbattery fire, which sort of implies a rapid rate of fire.
n this video ad they show an animated weapon firing off 2 or 3 rounds in rapid succession. No hard info regarding what the interval between shots actually is. The advertized "high rate of fire" capability is subjective. No info regarding how long the interval might be between shots 3 and 4. Did they deplete a capacitor? How long to recharge?

As for the above, I'm sure a lot of that is probably classified and known only by the company making the product and the interested parties involved with it's development.
I just don't think we're quite there yet. The primary reason is the high energy requirements... along with the effects on conventional materials.

I agree, if you look at the road map in one of the links, they aren't even considering standard production until 2020-2025, which sort of tells you we really aren't there yet, but things have progressed quite a bit in the amount of energy able to be supplied to the gun since the tests in 2006 for example. Once the requirement is there for better capacitor systems, better energy management, refinements to the gun system and money becomes available to further development eventually you'll end up with a product if they really want to go with it.

This article sort of explains the situation regarding testing.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/apr/07/navy-railgun-sandiego-display-july/
In 2016, the Navy will test the single-shot capability of one of its two prototypes, made by San Diego-based General Atomics and BAE Systems.

In July, the Office of Naval Research awarded a $34.5 million follow-on contract to BAE for a multiple-shot prototype that will conduct its first shipboard firing tests in 2018. That prototype will incorporate auto-loading of projectiles and technology to manage the heat generated by the power required.

The following year, the Navy would begin studying how to integrate the weapon onto ships.

http://www.nrl.navy.mil/content_images/06Materials_Meger.pdf

The link above shows some of the interesting problems the NRL is studying regarding materials to make the railgun out of and multiple shot physics with the energy requirements.

It's funny you mentioned super-conductors, as the requirement speaks of special cooling for the system, this may imply the use of chilled superconductor elements, instead of the holy grail room temperature superconductors.

http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_038654/bae-systems-newest-naval-railgun-prototype-fires-first-shot?_afrLoop=1282533994414000&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=Apf1Ug9b&baeSessionId=7nMvTJCbKjyyh1cHDDF9XGBnZ6QyJTz1Lzh4MRdTyB1PJ5LBThpN!2129012228#%40%3F_afrWindowId%3DApf1Ug9b%26baeSessionId%3D7nMvTJCbKjyyh1cHDDF9XGBnZ6QyJTz1Lzh4MRdTyB1PJ5LBThpN%25212129012228%26_afrLoop%3D1282533994414000%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3Dmb9l1ciom_4
The second phase will focus on further developing the technology at a significant firing rate of 10 rounds per minute while implementing cooling and thermal management.

http://defensetech.org/2014/01/16/navy-rail-gun-showing-promise/
We’ve gone through prototype phase 1 and had two industry gun systems. We’re now on phase two which will give us multiple rounds per minute,” said Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, Chief of Naval Research.

The gun is high-heat and high-energy so cooling technologies are required, Klunder said.

http://www.freewebs.com/jeffhead/usn21/railgun.htm
Phase II, started in 2012, to advance the technology and transition from a purely research, development and testing phase to a final testing, acquistion, and deployment phase. Phase II technology efforts will also concentrate on demonstrating a rep-rate fire capability. Thermal management techniques required for sustained firing rates will be developed for both the launcher system and the pulsed power system.

Technical objectives for the Electromagnetic Railgun:

Advanced thermal management techniques for long slender metal rail structures
Extended service life for materials and components in harsh environment
High-strength, dielectric, structural materials
High-speed, high-current metal-on-metal sliding electrical contact
System interfaces between high-power loads and platform power distribution
Compact pulsed power systems and power electronics
High-conductivity, high-strength, low-density conductors
Repetitive rate switches and control technologies
Aerothermal protection systems for flight vehicles
High-acceleration tolerant electronic components and structural materials

Most of these objectives have already been met in the lab and in land based firing range tests. Extending these objectives into the at-sea environment will ensure that the resulting weapons system is reliable, accurate, and able to operate with precision in the naval warfighting environment.



http://web.mit.edu/2n/Abst-ExecSum/2004/Conversion/DD(X)-RAILGUN.pdf

The above feasibility study mentions a sustainted 12 rnds per minute and each gun requiring substantial cooling, barrel heat exhangers, two gun barrel freshwater cooling pumps, 4 electronics module heat exchangers, 4 electronics module freshwatter cooling pumps (one per heat exchanger), two gun-barrel heat exchanger seawater cooling pumps, and four power electronics module heat exchanger seawater cooling pumps. This equates to an overall increase in the displacement of DD(X) Baseline 2 of 187 long tons at 175feet aft of the forward perpendicular, and 40 feet above tbaseline. This creates no structural, trim, stability or seakeeping problems.

And it goes on like that specifying the electrical distribution system as 13.8kV, 60Hz, 4-zone, zonal distribution system with Integrated Power System, etc.

So I'm sure eventually with the kind of money being thrown at the problem and the prototypes actually becoming real physical objects for study they'll get their Railgun, eventually. It's definatly got a neat wow factor to all of it, we never worked with gun systems like that though, laser weapons were more an area we studied. [;)]
mikmykWS
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by mikmykWS »

I'm sure they figure this one out but right now it does look pretty cumbersome.

Be interested to see how OPFOR tackles this one. My first thought is go after the sensors, more active countermeasures or MLRS type systems that would challenge the ROF.

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jdkbph
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by jdkbph »

Hmmm... curious. Does anyone have an idea how (or whether) guided rounds would affect enemy fire control for counter-battery?

JD
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dandin384
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by dandin384 »

ORIGINAL: mikmyk

Be interested to see how OPFOR tackles this one. My first thought is go after the sensors, more active countermeasures or MLRS type systems that would challenge the ROF.

Hoping we will be able to test this in Command in the near future!
spacenavy90
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by spacenavy90 »

biblioteca ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
thewood1
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by thewood1 »

Wow, you are easily disappointed.
You are like puss filled boil on nice of ass of bikini model. You are nasty to everybody but then try to sweeten things up with a nice post somewhere else. That's nice but you're still a boil on a beautiful thing! - BDukes
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dandin384
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by dandin384 »

ORIGINAL: spacenavy90

Disappointing to see that a railgun has still not made it into the database after all this discussion.

The devs have to ride a very fine line when dealing with hypothetical combat systems. At this point it would simply be a ton of guesswork on their part, which isn't the best idea for a sim that prides itself on realism. The hypothetical units already in the database, such as the arsenal ship or the F-24, have solid real life platforms that the devs can use to refine the units. (Iowa Class and F-22 respectively, for the case of my examples) There are still so many unknowns with the rail gun. The devs keep track of all this as well. We'll see a railgun in Command as more information on it is revealed. It's not like we don't have have thousands of other units to play with in the meantime [:)]
thewood1
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by thewood1 »

There is also the simple fact that one has NEVER been deployed in full operation. Even its core technology hasn't been operationalized yet.
You are like puss filled boil on nice of ass of bikini model. You are nasty to everybody but then try to sweeten things up with a nice post somewhere else. That's nice but you're still a boil on a beautiful thing! - BDukes
mikmykWS
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by mikmykWS »

Yeah. Honestly the first step to get us to implement anything is to provide sources, stats and pictures do speak a thousand words.

Mike
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by ComDev »

What Mike said [8D]

We also need a 'mission' for the rail guns. Been reading a bit about them and there's a ton of stuff on the technology but not so much on the operational side of things? There is already a capability to deliver guided 40kg+ shells at distances up to 150km using conventional guns. So what would the rail gun do that justifies the hassle? Some sources talk about an ABM defence role as a kinetic kill alternative to laser guns, but that is pretty unrealistic to achieve in the 2015-2020 time frame.

So if we added 'Railgun Mk1' to the database, what would its role be?
What types of shell would it carry?
What would the shell capabilities be? Stats & weights? Guidance?
Etc.
Image

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AlmightyTallest
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by AlmightyTallest »

Only could find the following info for the rounds, take note of the MJ ratings though.

Below is the unclassified Navsea .pdf on the Railgun program, might give some clues and ranges based on the energy output of the weapon. Initial guidance seems to be GPS, with other types for use against maneuvering targets.

http://www.navsea.navy.mil/Media/SAS2015/14APR_2_Ziv.pdf

Image

Image

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/04/railgun-roadmap-review.html

Image

Image

Info on a "Barrage Round" that was tested and proposed for the Railgun round. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/barrnd.htm
thewood1
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by thewood1 »

Opportunities and abilities seem pretty vague.
You are like puss filled boil on nice of ass of bikini model. You are nasty to everybody but then try to sweeten things up with a nice post somewhere else. That's nice but you're still a boil on a beautiful thing! - BDukes
AlmightyTallest
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by AlmightyTallest »

Well, from this site: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/04/railgun-roadmap-review.html

And this report: https://www.navalengineers.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/2009%20Proceedings%20Documents/AD%202009/Papers/Ziv_Johnson.pdf
Benefits of the EMRG include enabling maneuver forces to move quickly to their objectives
ashore with a reduced logistical tail and improving end-to-end logistics made possible by the use
of non-explosive projectiles. Recent history has shown that explosives significantly complicate
sustained and stability operations. Additionally EMRG provides operational support for dangerclose
and terrain masked targeting.
The anticipated range of the EMRG at 64 MJ (222 NM) exceeds the anticipated range of all
current or near-term projectiles including the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) and
supports the future assault range of the US Marine Corps (USMC) MV-22. (See Figure 4.) This
capability will allow the EMRG to complement USMC MV-22 tactical air assets in high
operational tempo engagements and may be used to provide support to forces ashore when
operational or environmental conditions do not permit the flow of air power to the target
location. Even at 32 MJ (half the full tactical energy level), the EMRG will have an anticipated
range of approximately 110 NM, whichisequaltothecurrentUSMC“ship-to-objective
maneuver”(STOM)distanceof200km(about110NM).
The EMRG will provide Joint Forces a unique capability for volume fire at long range, enabling
rapid engagement of a wide variety of targets including stationary structures, such as buildings
and bridges, and relocatable targets, such as surface-to-air missiles for Suppression of Enemy Air
Defense (SEAD) (Pifer et al. 2007). Current weapon systems, such as tactical aircraft (TACAIR)
or cruise missiles, have comparable or greater ranges than a 64-MJ EMRG projectile at
significantly greater costs, but cannot provide an equivalent volume of fires. Other Naval guns
can provide volume of fires, but at significantly shorter ranges. The EMRG provides a truly
unique capability for volume fire at long range and an ability to engage targets in a high-threat
environment. The use of the EMRG enables rapid engagement of a wide range of target sets,
while freeing up TACAIR and cruise missiles to concentrate on high-value targets that are not
likely to be engaged effectively with first-generation EMRG weapon systems.
Finally, the high-altitude flight profile and steep attack angle of EMRG projectiles provide
greater flexibility to attack targets effectively in mountainous terrain by using projectiles that are
practically invulnerable to enemy counterattack. It is impractical for the enemy to engage EMRG
projectiles as they descend into the target area. Theprojectile’ssmall size and extremely high
velocity present a very difficult target and an unfavorable geometry to enemy defensive systems.
In addition, the large number of EMRG projectiles will likely overcome any enemy defensive
system. Future EMRG system development could enable an unprecedented capability to place
rounds in a pre-determined pattern to dramatically increase target lethality over a wide range of
potential threats.

There's some specifics on operational scenarios for the system, not sure if it warrants a new entry in the DB though yet.
spacenavy90
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by spacenavy90 »

corazon ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
thewood1
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by thewood1 »

Maybe backing off a little on expressing disappointment would help ratchet down someone's penchant for snarkiness. IOW, saying you are disappointed because some futuristic weapon system isn't in a database that has literally 10's of thousands of entries is a might strong.

How about...hey great job on this and was wondering if the recently deployed for tests rail gun would make it in....and it could also have been put in the database request thread. You came off as a somewhat ungrateful snit.
You are like puss filled boil on nice of ass of bikini model. You are nasty to everybody but then try to sweeten things up with a nice post somewhere else. That's nice but you're still a boil on a beautiful thing! - BDukes
thewood1
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by thewood1 »

Looking again and you have two freaking posts and THAT was you're first post. And your second comes off no better. I am sure you know a lot more about how the game is developed and maintained. Because that is how you are coming across. I would suggest re-reading your TWO posts and think about someone developing a game that is under constant development might take that. I have nothing to do with the game and I am annoyed.
You are like puss filled boil on nice of ass of bikini model. You are nasty to everybody but then try to sweeten things up with a nice post somewhere else. That's nice but you're still a boil on a beautiful thing! - BDukes
spacenavy90
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by spacenavy90 »

fiesta ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
mikmykWS
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RE: Railgun, anyone?

Post by mikmykWS »

This has never stopped you from implementing already hypothetical equipment such as: Mobile offshore bases, or anti-torpedo torpedoes, or do I even have to mention the entire "hypothetical" platforms in the unit menu?
And why exactly do you need a "mission" to go with it? There is a mission editor built in for a reason. And it is absolutely NOT unrelated considering the first ship prototype is being sailed NEXT year in 2016.

Its our game we can do whatever we like with it. You can not like that all you want[:)]
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