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A Blog by Gary Wright II

New Navy weapon makes guns obsolete!

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

The 4th of July, it only makes sense to remember those who make our independence still possible: Our veterans and our military.

As much grief as I get from the VA, I am still very proud of the men and women serving in our armed forces. We have some of the greatest minds at work, and we would be so much stronger if the military would choose to embrace diversity.

In the 90's, I was stationed aboard the USS Stout (DDG-55) which had the latest and greatest equipment in the world. The AEGIS powered Arleigh Burke class destroyers are second to none when it comes to their weapons and capabilities.

I was excited when I heard just how far the Navy has come in only a decade. They are already building the next generation of war ships called the DDG 1000 Zumwalt class destroyers. The capabilities of these ships are truly amazing, and will serve our country well for many decades to come.

One of the most interesting projects is a new Navy weapon called the electromagnetic rail gun. This weapon overcomes all of the obstacles inherent in conventional weapons. The gun uses a very high energy pulse to send it's projectile to the target. It has a very, very, very fast rate of flight (faster than the speed of sound) and can strike targets at an unbelievable distance (over 200 nautical miles) within 6 minutes. The kinetic energy of the projectile transfers directly to the target and makes it a very lethal weapon.

This weapon will truly redefine modern warfare. No more heavy gun shells to load, no more risk of storing and carrying large amounts of gun powder, and the railgun is much more cost effective. The weapon also eliminates the issue of unexploded ordinance that linger long after the battle is over.

I hope there will come a time when we as humans can stop building offensive weapons, but until world peace occurs, we must recruit and retain the best minds to work on these projects. The railgun is a huge leap forward, and I can't wait to see what the next big breakthrough might hold.

For videos and more info, visit the Navy Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, VA:
www.nswc.navy.mil

Have a fun (and safe) holiday weekend!

-- Gary Wright II

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