On Friday December 10th, 2010 BAE Systems tested an experimental Electromagnetic Railgun launcher developed for the Office of Naval Research and showed of the firing potential to some top Navy brass at Dahlgren Weapons Station in Virginia. The highly-publicized shot measured 33-megajoules (MJ) of muzzle energy, almost tripling the previous world record of 10.64 MJ set in January of 2008.
To offer some perspective, a one-ton vehicle moving at 100 MPH equals a single MJ of energy.
BAE, in partenership with SAIC and IAP Research, got the $21million development contract for the system back in February 2009. BAE reached out to us here at DefenseTech and Military.com this morning with some semi-exclusive video of the test fire. (Update: Well, it was exclusive. It's now on YouTube as well.)
-- Glenn Anderson