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General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) recently announced that their hypersonic projectiles, equipped with an enhanced Guidance Electronics Unit (GEU), have been successfully tested during multiple firings from the organization’s railgun system.
The enhanced GEU containing a new battery configuration and running GA-EMS developed Guidance, Navigation, and Control software completed testing at launch accelerations over 30,000 Gees.
The company has been developing railgun weapons systems to support air and missile defense, counter-battery fire, and precision indirect fire.
Its railgun systems feature electromagnetic launchers that use electricity instead of chemical propellants to fire projectiles at high speeds. The high muzzle velocity can be twice that of conventional guns leading to short engagement times and longer range, according to the company’s website.
“We’re continuing to test at an impressive pace, building on the successes over the past year to advance both our railgun systems and hypersonic projectile capabilities,” stated Nick Bucci, vice president Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS. “We’re on track to conduct another series of tests using the railgun system later this year. With each new firing, we continue maturing the technologies and performing risk reduction toward a multi-mission railgun weapon system that supports future operation on land and at sea.”
The GEU tests also successfully demonstrated a continuous two-way data link between the in-flight projectiles and the ground station over the Dugway Proving Ground open range. In addition to the GEU, a new lightweight composite sabot was tested, demonstrating successful sabot separation and in bore structural integrity at the high acceleration levels.
GA-EMS has internally funded the railgun systems and hypersonic projectile development.
GA-EMS has also recently announced the development and completion of the High Energy Pulsed Power Container (HEPPC) which provides twice the energy density of existing pulsed power systems. The HEPPC is intended to reduce the footprint for pulsed power required to launch projectiles, offering greater flexibility for future Navy and Army railgun applications.