– US to deploy ‘game changing’ electromagnetic railgun that fires at seven times the speed of sound (Independent, April 9, 2014):
The US Navy has announced plans to deploy its first ever electromagnetic railgun, a “game changing” device that fires projectiles without explosives over a distance of 100 miles and at seven times the speed of sound.
Railguns use an electromagnetic force known as the Lorentz Force to rapidly accelerate projectiles between a pair of conductive rails, firing them at a velocity greater than can be achieved by traditional guns and artillery.
This increased velocity means that projectiles do not need to have any explosive payload. Instead, the railgun simply fires a solid lump of metal, relying on the speed of its impact to transfer massive amounts of heat and kinetic energy to the target.