(Video Below The Fold) The U.S. Navy has hit a major milestone with the 1,000th firing of its electromagnetic railgun. Commanders said the milestone means that the incredible state of the art weapon has moved closer to actual deployment on warships.
The railgun is not like other weapons of warfare. Instead of relying on explosions to fire a projectile, it uses an electromagnetic current to shoot a non-explosive bullet at several times the speed of sound.
The railgun developed by the Navy launches and accelerates hundreds of conductive projectiles along pairs of metal rails using the effects of a strong magnetic field. It can accelerate a seven pound projectile to a speed of 5,600 miles.
Navy officials said that the range of a railgun is up to 20 times greater than that of conventional weapon systems. A projectile could reach a target 290 miles away in less than six minutes and impact it with incredible force.