After 15 years and $500m, the US Navy decides it doesn't need shipboard railguns after all

After 15 years and $500m, the US Navy decides it doesn't need shipboard railguns after all


Only $500M? I’m honestly surprised it’s so low


>The project had also faced declining funding and cancellation of the Gun-Launched Guided Projectile steerable ammunition which was being specially built for it. Its capabilities also unhelpfully fell somewhere between advanced ammunition for conventional weapons and those of a number of new, longer-ranged hypersonic missiles currently in development. Oh look, straight shooters!


This sounds a lot like the history of the xl sized land mounted guns in the end of WWII Basically the biggest rifled cannons ever made got taken out and scrapped 9 months after they got made because rockets took over.


There was that big bertha or something the Germans had in the first world war that was the biggest I think, shot like 60-80 miles, they hit paris with if from the front. I forget if that's the one they had special agents take out with thermite charges.


I'm pretty sure I did that back in Medal of Honor on the original PlayStation. You're welcome, everybody.


Thank you for your service


Of course in my day, the PlayStation was all in black and white. It would switch off at midnight, and you'd have to put the CD in with the National Anthem on it.




Ha! They didn't have updates in those day, you just played arond tue bugs,and we got our Internets at 2400 baud like god intended. You wanted social media, you went to a BBS that was local. You wanted porn, well you planned that shit out 4hrs in advance to give the pics time to download.


I got an update in a floppy disk mailed to me for a game bought in 1991. And people thought there was no point in registering their software.


Playstation used to wear an onion on your belt, which was the style at the time…


TYFYS Jimmy Patterson... ​ That mission was incredible. At the end of the level there was a machine gun you could get behind and endless waves of Nazis would generate and run at you, you had unlimited ammo...


Just like in the actual war. Those unlimited ammo guns won the Allies the war.


An individual gun may not have had unlimited ammo but we had more than one gun, and a steady stream of ammo!


And no cooldown for overheat if i remember. Goodness, I cant remember when cooldown even became a thing for video games.


The Paris Gun. Could fire from 80 miles (130km) away. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Gun The actually made a larger gun during WW2 called Gustav https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwerer_Gustav


Ah yes, Thomas’ German cousin, Gustav the Tank Gun


Also the V-3 Supergun which was almost completed in ww2 which was supposed to hit London. https://youtu.be/4jGxEuHHJoY


The caliber of the Gustav is almost twice as wide as the average economy seat on a US airline. IDK why but that blew my mind.


But that was designed/built before airplanes could carry meaningful bomb loads. Once that happened, giant guns aren't very useful.


It wasn’t even useful back then. It’s main use was for propaganda: we can hit Paris.


Right, and the missiles and rockets really made them obsolete, you can hide missiles in bunkers pull them out and fire them off and then disappear, no fixed target for the enemy to take out.


Didn't the barrel have to be changed after only a few shots? Crazy gun


They used numbered shells where each shell was just slightly bigger than the last. That would let them get 65 shells out of the barrel before it had to be sent back to the manufacturer for processing. It's shells reached the highest altitude of any man-made object until the V-2 rockets of WW2.


Right that's how they got around it thanks!


Don't forget the one they were clearly building in Iraq that they for some reason sub-contracted the evidence to their enemies.


Yeah didn't he build it into the side of a mountain to be able to hit Israel was it, and they blew it up before he got a shot off?


Imagine having to point and shoot your deck guns? What is this??? World war two???


You can put control surfaces on the round, and make it a "smart" bullet.


The issue with that is that all of the electronics need to be able to survive the firing process. That isn't an easy task. Compare a missile, which experiences much smaller forces than any bullet would.


And even if they could survive the g-force of launch, the magnetic field from firing would fry basically anything with a microprocessor


That's a good point, and one that raises another potential issue with the railgun design: any damage to the shielding risks frying your own electronics.


I thought the same thing. $500M is a BARGAIN for a weapon system.


That was just for the private consultants to *name* the system.


Railgunny McRailgunnyFace


Go fast no boom boom stick


Oh there's a Boom alright. Just at the other end.


Maybe that's what they want you to think. Then when some giant, metallic alien comes crawling up the Pyramid of Giza, they'll suddenly whip it out.


“Just name the system”


Yeah, they blew $22 billion on the Zumwalt before deciding they didn't need it. And the Army threw $32 billion into the barrel for the Future Combat System program before they said "fuck it, lets just buy a bunch of Canadian IFVs instead."


Have they even decided on the new squad rifle yet. It feels like that program is 10 years running now.


Didn’t they intend to replace the AR platform since the late 1980s? Didn’t they inquire multiple guns over the years, even had some developed from scratch like the XM8 only to then be like „nah, we‘re good“


The problem is everytime they come to the table for a replacement someone re-shines the AR platform to fit current needs and everyone just kinda nods approval. Plus by this point the AR platform is so multipurpose it's kind of hard to find something that fits so many roles. Imagine if they found a new standard battle rifle, but all the other roles had to be filled and the new platform wasn't as variable.


The thing most people forget is that the AR platform has seen half a century of fine tuning by now. It's pretty difficult to come to market with an all-new product that can make financial sense for the marginal gains it'll see over that sort of iterative design. Truth be told, it's highly unlikely to see a new rifle being adopted without first seeing a radical change in ammunition that would lower the opportunity cost of a total replacement rifle vs adaptation. If we ever get the problems sorted out with polymer telescoping cartridges, that might be an opportunity, but failing that, I don't see it happening.


Optics are everything. The main selling point of the xm8 was the ability to switch optics without needing to re-zero. However you were stuck with whatever optics HK would produce, which are lackluster, and you'd be crazy not to check your zero anyway. With the rail system you can use pretty much any optic available, have interchangeability, and stay on the cutting edge. This bears out with other countries who adopted rifles with integrated optics, like the AUG, L85, and G36 (same as xm8). You see their top tier units using variations which have a rail in place of the integrated optic. In some cases they are using some form of AR. Anyway the AR15 is kinda like the Soyuz. They struck gold with the original design. It's old technology, but decades of QA have matured it into a very reliable system, and the laws of physics haven't changed. Pair it with modern optics / computers and you can get even more performance out of a good system.


Yep we used acogs and eotechs


They just switched to LPVOs for everyone https://taskandpurpose.com/news/army-rifle-optic-sig-sauer-contract/


Man SIG must have got some friendly folks high up because they're straight getting the military contracts in the last couple years. Not mad, I bought an M17 and love it.


The advantage SIG has is they innovate just enough to get the contract. Too much innovation and the US Army gets skittish not enough and you get "well whats the point?"


The AR platform is a ridiculously good design, the first gens had some issues (what do you expect when you tell people it doesn't need to be cleaned and they are in the rainy jungle) but every iteration since has improved for sure. Imagine a world where we stuck with the M-14 as the standard. Sure it's a great DMR, but the AR really does fill any role you apply it to. Swap the barrel and the stock and you have either a solid ranged weapon or light close combat tool. Versatility, like you said, is what keep it going. It's not like handguns Revolver > 1911 > Beretta > Sig M17 (I do think the spanner screw is a mixed bag of a implementation though)


> what do you expect when you tell people it doesn't need to be cleaned and they are in the rainy jungle AND they didnt send enough(any) cleaning kits because it was supposed to be jam proof. Tell people it doesnt need to be cleaned and then dont provide them a way to clean it if they turn out to be wrong. Such forethought is uncommon.


Part of it also is that DuPont shipped dirtier burning powder. There’s sort of a conspiracy that the old guard of american munitions were trying to sabotage armalite so they’d cancel the AR.


It wasn't DuPont's fault, the "Old Guard" of sorts insisted on using stores of much older, completely different powder than what Eugene Stoner required in his schematics, because it was cheaper. As a result, the ammunition did not performed as originally designed.


And piling on, some people talk about the original 1954 design as being "old". It's not really. It was the culmination of hundreds of years of firearms development merged with (then) cutting edge lightweight materials science. ...and the relevant disciplines haven't meaningfully changed since. It's very much a "modern" rifle. Other systems have been developed to poke a bullet to make it go bang, but none have dramatically improved on that era. Same basic commentary is true of the AK platform. So these AR rifles have a modern firing mechanism, very customizable furniture, and incredible 3rd party modularization options. It's brilliant.


> Imagine a world where we stuck with the M-14 as the standard. Sure it's a great DMR lmao it's a piece of shit that literally shoots itself apart, it's not great at anything except costing a boatload of money and modern parts to make it have the same performance of a much cheaper FAL.


The big thing is plenty of systems have beaten out the M16/4 but none of them to the point that it justifies changing out our whole inventory, retraining everyone, and distributing it. I don't know how many buffer springs the DoD has in inventory, but when I inventoried the armory, I saw at least a thousand of them. For just one Air Force Base. That's not to mention every other part which will become useless and will be replaced with new spare parts. Updating the current system means that 90% of those are still good parts.


A core platform is the key to cost effective budgeting. Even if that budget is in the trillions, you still need to ensure cost savings and redundancy.


Oh absolutely. That's why there's a long history of refitting airframes as well. Wars are won on logistics, and any opportunity you have to make your inventory more simple, you take.


I am just thinking of the costs to replace every magazine in the military arsenal with a new one. Now there is a thought, if you want to replace the AR platform, make sure all major components are interchangeable. Granted at that point you are just building a better AR... efficient efficacy wins again.


That's one reason why there's a lot of interest in moving to 300blk over the other proposed rounds. Same mags and everything, you just need a new barrel. But then you have the question, is it worth replacing the millions upon millions of rounds of 5.56 we have in inventory?


Oh man the XM8, blast from the past!


I can still remember the late 90s/early 2000s recruiting commercial that featured it and Land Warrior. Because carrying around 25lbs of 90s computer technology and the battery to power it (for a full hour!) on the battlefield was a great idea.


The problem with the Zumwalts was that they didn't know what they wanted the ship to do. That along with trying to develop a new gun system that had no ammo developed for it at the time. Now that they're turning the Zumwalts into ship killers I think they'll finally come into their own. The plan now is to replace the 2 forward guns with hypersonic missiles. That with 80 vertical launch cells and stealth capabilities it's gonna be one hell of a ship. Not to mention with the huge amounts of power they generate they can accomodate any future technology the Navy wants to put on it. I have strong suspicion the next generation of U.S. destroyers will be some altered version of the Zumwalts. With the need for larger hypersonic missiles we're gonna need bigger boats with capabilities to store them. With nearly twice the displacement of the Arleigh Burke destroyers they have much more space while also being able to power any kind of laser technology the U.S. develops. Plus you have the advantage of having had 3 Zumwalts already built with the kinks worked out.




I saw an interview with a guy who was in Iraq. The Bradley's still trundling around out there, but because of the new trend towards more body armor they've gone from being able to fit six guys down to four...four guys who are *very* friendly with each other.


they spent that money studying, and by studying i mean going to vegas


Some cocaine for you, some cocaine for you, oh and some for you.


Please sir, may I have some more?


FCS would have been a nightmare anyways.


$500M over *15 years* and they cited “fiscal restraints” as their reason to halt. Something seems fishy here. This isn’t the blank check military that I know, this almost seems... responsible?


Weirdly enough I just watched a YouTube video on these the other day. They use an incredible amount of power and eventually rip themselves apart more every use


Yeah I remember hearing one of the biggest problems was barrel wear. Basically after a couple rounds the barrel became to warped and degraded to be usable. Although the railgun is dead we've still learned a lot from the project and the research is continuing through other areas. One being the HVP Hyper Velocity Projectile. They used one not to long ago to shoot down a cruise missile using M109 Paladin I believe. BAE's HVP came about through the development of the railgun and it's ammunition. It could also be used by land units to protect themselves from missile attacks as well. Currently there's research into if they can shrink the round down and use it on naval 57mm guns to shoot down incoming missiles and drones. That would help in the event of swarm attacks where you only have so many missiles to protect yourself.


Could the Navy get more reliable anti missile coverage with more phalanx guns and antimissile missile launchers?


I think at that point it becomes an issue of packaging, in the space of one missile you can fit loads of cannon shells. There's also the cost of self propelled weapons systems that has to be considered, if you're not American


Yeah, it's probably infeasible. By that, I mean the technology doesn't exist yet to make any kind of electromagnetic weapon beyond the conceptual stage. Some pretty huge advances in materials science would have to be made: materials that are able to withstand the incredible forces as well as the heat, and superconductors. Rail guns might be more useful as mass drivers, say, on the moon.


$33 Million a year for high tech research of a military grade weapon (which includes paying non-military researchers, buying pricy equipment and materials, outfitting existing ships with the platforms, security costs, and tests) doesn't seem all that high a cost when you consider what the Navy spends on fuel alone in that same time. The annual cost of a destroyer is in the hood of $70-80M a year. The US has around 50 of those things in varying class running around.


For all you non navy/history folks: Destroyers are the small ones


Precisely. An aircraft carrier alone is probably the GDP of a small nation.


a single carrier has more aerial firepower than all but a dozen nations


The Navy has about 70 destroyers with about another 20 planned, though a few early hulls will likely be retired before the rest are finished.


It really is. For example I just read the Taliban has more than $880 million worth of our Humvees they've captured.


I guess my question is will those humvees out last the hiluxes they already had.


My money is on the hiluxes


No they will not. The humvees probably won't even make it a year


Nothing outlasts a Toyota


When you want to start an insurrection you need a Toyota. Thanks, Toyota.


We should have tried to convince the Talibs to work off of a Honda Ridgeline platform, it would have been so much easier (for us).


> For example I just read the Taliban has more than $880 million worth of our Humvees they've captured. That will be a nice $1.6 billion order for someone to replace them no doubt.


We'll be selling weapons directly to the Taliban if they can come up with the money


See that's actually a trap we left them to drain their coffers by having them waste money trying to refuel Humvees. /s


When I was in the Navy, the selling point of the rail gun technology was the fact it was so much cheaper then cruise missiles. I never understood how they would protect the electronic systems scattered throughout the ships against a huge magnetic spike like that. I guess they never figured that part out or it got too expensive and they a leaving that out of the 500M figure.


The real problem (well outside of all the technical stuff which is just really cool engineering) is that there's no practical USE for a rail gun right now. Their big trick is shooting straight and hitting extremely hard. There's no current call for a line of sight ship-to-ship gun with those capabilities and since its considered gauche these days to stand off the coast and shell the ever living shit out of places its got no place.


The idea was to shoot targets by you know arching the round. It had an effective (IE incredibly pinpoint accurate) range of 126 miles, but it could also lob rounds to blow shit up at twice that distance with a degree of accuracy.


Wouldn't all the critical systems be hardened against EMP anyways? What with all the 'the other guy has nukes' preparation and such?


EMPs are EM waves, they can be shielded by a relatively thin faraday cage, but the rail gun will produce a low frequency magnetic field, this is much harder to shield, requiring thick walls of ferromagnetic material Edit: I should add that EM waves decay as 1/r^2 while magnetic fields decay as 1/r^3 so they don’t go too far, that combined with the difficulty of shielding is why generally you don’t bother shielding against them unless you’re doing some sensitive measurement or something


I mean $500M spent but honestly they probably got some fantastic research material out of the program. I would *really* doubt railgun tech is a dead tech branch, more than likely just postponed due to current tech and materials limitations.


materials tech for the rails didnt hit their optimistic goals in terms of lifetime. Still they managed to get rail-life to basically them same as the big guns on former battleships (~400 shots)


What’s better than a rail gun?


Low Orbit Ion Canon


Or just tungsten rods dropped from orbit.


Rods from God




High five


We have those! "Jewish space laser"


No, that's a Low Orbit Zion Cannon.


Never understood the idea that it would take an orbital mounted laser to start dry kindling in California. You could do the same, well, much worse by sending some 5w or more handheld lasers to a homeless camp.


Well the problem is you seem rational.


Damn, space laser, ion cannon, antimatter carrier wave…umm, Jewish space taser it is then.


Now I am going to picture some well meaning homeless people teasing stray cats and starting fires all day!!


My gender reveal parties always involve an orbital ion cannon


Yes, but who made those lasers? Hrmmmm. Could it be, no, it couldn’t.


Strategic 9volt batteries and steal wool cheaper. Or just a drone with roman candle.


But how cool would a bunch of homeless people look walking around in sunglasses because everyone has a laser pointer?


Aren't those just used to start fires in California?


Yes...*for now*. *Marjorie_Taylor_Greene has entered the chat.*


Nod just went with nukes


Isn’t that the thing that does DDoS attacks?


Hypersonic ship-based missiles which were already in the works. However I don't believe this is a waste of money and will still be used in other cases.


Two rail guns?


First rule of government spending: Why have one when you can have two at twice the price!


Two is one and one is none


Thrice the price. Volume pricing for military.


Na, I prefer a monorail gun


That's more of a Shelbyville idea.


* Two rail guns * Dolphin mounted rail guns * Drone mounted rail guns (so hot right now)


Road guns


Look up "Rods from God"


Universal health care


This guy gets sick


We out here conditionally preexisting


Metal Gear REX?. ..


Lasers, which they already have and use actively and the tech is getting better. Rail is cool and all, but if you actually want to shoot a moving target out of the sky, especially something moving at high speed, you want lasers.


500m is nothing. We spent 400m a day in the Middle East


Wasn't it more like a billion a day at the peak?


I wouldn’t doubt it, I’m just recalling the most recent figure I’ve heard




The military spends more money per second than I make in a year :(


What's a few hundred million when you're inflicting Democracy on your foes?


Doesn’t need *shipboard* railguns… oh I see where your going navy. Navy moon base railgun incoming.


That will be a step on the way wars are *meant* to be fought- on the moon with giant robots.


Stop I'm gonna chum


The way God intended.


That's actually why we now have the Space Force. For space lasers.


Thats exactly what I'd expect them to say when they've perfected the technology and dont want people to know.


>...of its current fleet only the US Navy's three weird-looking Zumwelt-class stealthy destroyers generated enough electricity to power the EMRG. What?! Aircraft carriers are powered by two nuclear reactors *each*! What the hell are these Zumwelt destroyers powered by?


The railgun designed for the Zumwalt was considerablely larger and energy-hungry than the smaller ones meant for anti-missle and small ship defense. I believe the entire ship for this role, was designed around that weapon system. It was a system that relied on a certain amount of specially designed ammunition to be purchased every year to maintain an economical price-point. When congress/navy nixed the amount of planned Zumwalts, this effectively killed the program. The price-point of the the ammunition became exorbitantly expensive.


>The price-point of the the ammunition became exorbitantly expensive. So they all creamed in their pants and bought stock in the ammo supplier before continuing the program anyway?


I think I know what your thinking, but maybe I'm wrong. The ammunition was an economies of scale issue. The amount of ammunition that was expected to be produced and sold annually in the original plan, would have made the price for each indivdual "round" an acceptable, albeit still expensive, cost to the government and the navy. When the gov. nixed the planned total amount of the Zumwalt detroyers with the rail gun system; this caused each individual round to cost significantly more to produce, and thus killing any future scaling of the project. The best analogy I can come up with is this. Many people will continue to poor resources into a dying man to keep him alive, eventhough most of them already know the inevitable result. Many people, including the navy, were/are still interested in the technology. Many reasearch programs do not provide an end product, however the research is still valuable.


There's no space on a carrier to mount a rail gun. To busy being floating airports.


Conditionally correct however, the new Gerald R. Ford class US carriers were designed to have physical and energy capacity for future weapons tech. This included the potential use of smaller rail guns for anti-missile and small ship defense. They seem to favor using laser tech going forward. Edit: It seemed unfair to leave this; a simple misunderstanding of semantics. This is incorrect --> Conditionally correct however,


So a CIWS type rail gun? That would be awesome, but that is far different than what most picture when they think ship mounted rail gun.


Yes, and they are awesome. It is also possible to make a handheld rail rifle, just very cumbersome and impractical. That is fair to say. It would never be feasible or reasonable to mount a larger rail gun on an air carrier. The new carriers were designed to help maintain their viability in future combat. This includes a lot of new technology, excess space, and excess energy capacity. They also wanted to try and reduce/eliminate the 2 main weaknesses, missiles and small ships. The CIWS does an excellent job (kind of like the scenes from the expanse). However, if they have managed to refine a lazer system, that would be far superior, albeit less cool to watch.


…three nuclear reactors?


I think they also need absolutely enormous capacitors.


You know what else is absolutely enormous?


My mom? 😭


And you're gayer than Oscar! Boom roasted.


The products and services that support this podcast


Electric power is provided by two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines (35.4 MW ea.)[5] driving Curtiss-Wright electric generators. According to wiki.


Yeah, I was just reading that. I had been under the impression that the entire fleet had gone nuclear. Evidently only our subs and aircraft carriers are nuclear powered.


We tried, but the tiny reactors on destroyers and cruisers needed to be refueled so often that it wasn't cost effective. I wonder if modern designs and operating standards could make it possible. It is unlikely that we will try again soon.


I would also assume the shielding, precaution and technical overhead is bit much for smaller vessels. Specially given US global naval bases network. Since actually one condition/sticking point some nations otherwise willing to allow a military presence is "nothing nuclear and military on our soil. No nuclear warheads, no nuclear powered vessels stationed here and so on". Thus it makes sense to have a conventionally powered section of the fleet to be stationed in these places. if USA only had nuclear powered fleet, they would be way more limited on where they could sail. Since for example even if nation would allow innocent passage of nuclear vessel, they might go "yeah your nuclear powered vessel can pass, but our nation has actually really strict nuclear safety rules about naval reactors. So gonna take extra paper work and safety measures. Exactly how much nuclear material are we talking... oh you rather won't tell, well then we can't complete our radiation safety planning and as such can't allow your passage due to radiation safety restrictions. innocent of passage must be done in safe manner as records to our security as coastal nation and if we can't do the nuclear safety planning and preparation, it won't be in safe manner. As such we refuse you passage". That is actually what killed the civilian nuclear vessel market, which was tried with nuclear cargo vessels. The amount of ports and territorial waters being willing to allow coming to port or even passage of live nuclear reactor was very limited and even those willing to allow it imposed hefty amount of radiation safety measures and control. Which made swift and smooth running of said ships impossible. Like say if USA everyone now and then would like to do naval visit with carrier... yeah little extra paper works, USA giving utmost promises of proper radiation safety situation, promising to give their external radiation monitoring slips to show "no we aren't leaking" and so on. Do able everyone now and then. However the more often you start doing the trips, the more nations will go "hey now, you are here with every monday your nuclear vessel. That means more exposure to us, more exposure, more risk. We need extra precautions." Hence also most likely why the nuclear carriers actually really dock at select few facilities around the world and even in USA regularly.... Since those harbors and docks are pre-screened, permitted and prepared to handle nuclear reactor loaded vessel including potential mishaps.


Zumwalt program: “These ships are useless.” Navy: “No, no! We’re gonna mount *rail guns* to them!” 15 years later Navy: “Ok, now they’re useless.”


Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't Zumwelts: - nuclear powered & potentially silent running - the fastest ships in the fleet - equipped with passive & active stealth technology That doesn't sound useless at all - it sounds like the perfect special-ops platform.


I worked at BIW for 11 years. Zumwalts are powered by gas turbine generators. 2 main turbine generators, 2 aux turbine generators, and 2 emergency diesels. Total power is something like 75 megawatts. They’re not even close to the fastest. Navy doesn’t publish numbers, but I think it’s a close first and second place for the LCS and any aircraft carrier. They are equipped with some pretty significant stealth tech that makes them look to be the size of a small fishing or lobster boat. Small enough that they are able to see an enemy before the enemy sees them. The thing that makes them useless is their big selling point was the two forward guns (AGS Advanced Gun System) that could fire more tons of ammunition, further down range, than any other ship. So they could park off the coast and bombard 50 miles inland. The When they cut the fleet to 3 ships, though, the ammunition for the guns became EXTREMELY expensive, so the navy scrapped it. So now you just have a big-ass ship that can generate enough power to light up a small city, holds fewer missiles than a DDG-51, and has 2 forward guns that don’t shoot anything.


Just build some fucking metal gears already damnit


When can the public buy them surplus?


Oh no, first we give them to the police.


*Tosses it in the dumpster out back*


Yeah the Navy doesn’t…but Space Force is probably installing them on the new Daedalus class ships


USN: "we don't need rail guns" Our next major conflict: "omg they have Rail guns!" USN: "psych"


There is no way they only spent 500 million, also this probably means something better is further a long in development.


Dropping nails from space via satellite probably.


Believable after seeing the drone sword missile.


its more than believable, we and the russians had plans for exactly that during the cold war. the russians actually deployed something similar too


True, and the US has had quite a few launches recently that had unknown cargo.


Space force


Here is a relevant Wikipedia article: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_bombardment


That means Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son-of-a-bitch in space.


What is this? Call of Duty: Ghosts?


That’s old news. Don’t know why it is recycled again now.


Either this is horrible government waste and poor planning/efficiency by the military OR....theyve just discovered a far better weapon. Lasers, tractor beam, foul mean language?


*U.S. Navy: "Now go away or we shall taunt you a second time."*


Russian Navy:"I don't understand English. What did they say?"


ththththththbbbbthth *clanks helmet*


Basically, they couldn't get the barrels to last an acceptable amount of shots and the ammunition was expensive. It's been awhile, but I think they had to replace the barrels after just a few hundred rounds. They tried for years to improve it, and did, but not enough for the guns to be a practical option. So they've canceled the project until metallurgy advances enough to solve that issue.


I’m pretty sure they were having to replace the rails after a handful of shots, not hundreds. And this is after expensive and complicated methods of maintenance. This was always the main barrier to rail guns. If it still hasn’t been solved in 15 years then it’s likely they’ve hit a brick wall


If it's just dozens of rounds, that would make more sense. A few hundred rounds is pretty big standard for replacement of large caliber tank or ship guns.


You stewpid English kuhnigguts!


There was an article about the USAF researching plasma weapons since the 90's


Seems relative cheap for 15 years of military grade R&D.




Why do we need rail guns wen we have 'alien' Tic-Tac drones?


So this is obviously where the space force steps in to get the rail guns at a discount. The only question is are these going on a moon base or on a space ship?


But what if Constructicon starts tearing open the giant pyramid, then what..


He has a name and it’s Devastator!


Use the tech make is smaller and put it on tanks


Tanks have questionable purpose on the battlefield of today. I can't see anything but a moderately armored IFV,AAA hybrid being useful.


Can i have it? I need it.