New Rail Gun Rounds Zip Through Steel at 1 Mile a Second

Illustration for article titled New Rail Gun Rounds Zip Through Steel at 1 Mile a Second

Rail guns are still halfway between sci-fi and battlefield, but the armscrafters at General Atomics are still working to improve the futuristic weapon. Instead of launching clunky "bricks," a new, aerodynamic round is being tested. Git ready fer military porn!


The "sabot" round uses a three stage mechanism that sends a dart-like shell hurdling at amazing speeds and distances—a General Atomics rep claimed over four miles, perfectly straight, even after smashing through a steel plate. So hey! Will this weapon system, like most others, probably take forever to develop, and be ungodly expensive? Sure! But it makes for some tantalizing footage. Make sure to enjoy it—you might end up paying for it! [DefenseTech]



I'm having a bit of trouble with the actual usefulness of this weapon, in spite of how goddamned motherfucking cool it is.

Who is it being built to fight? The age of wars between modernized nationstates is virtually over.

Why are people advocating its use on ships? When was the last time we needed a costal barrage?

The USAF has not used their other most sophisticated tech—the F-22—in a single engagement since they were purchased. When will this ever be used?

Again—cool as hell. Intimidating as hell. But to me, this seems like an awful lot of effort for very little pragmatic payout.