Navy develops 8-Megajoule railgun, Nukem bows down

The mere mention of the word brings back visions of the original first-person-shooters to grace our now-antiquated machines, and now the US Navy is getting real personal with a realized version of the pixelated railgun we all love and adore. Presumably ripped straight from the (admittedly lacking) storyline of Quake, an 8-Megajoule railgun has been officially created, fired, and deemed worthy of flanking our naval ships, which should strike fear in the hearts of anyone wishing us harm. The gun was showcased this week at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren, Virginia, and utilizes massive quantities of electricity rather than gunpowder to propel "nonexplosive projectiles at incredible speeds." The weapon is powerful enough to equal the damage inflicted by a Tomahawk cruise missile, and the device's project director compared the impact to hitting a solid object "going 380 miles-per-hour in a Ford Taurus." Moreover, the railgun touts a 200 to 250 nautical-mile range, compared to the 15 nautical-mile range that current five-inch guns sport now. Interestingly, the weapon should "only" cost around $1,000 per shot once loaded onboard, which is chump change compared to the cool million that vanishes each time a cruise missile is deployed, and if everything goes as planned, we'll be seeing a 32-Megajoule prototype in June, with a 64-Megajoule rendition adorning our ships by 2020.

[Via Slashdot]