General Atomics Awarded Army Contract to Advance Railgun Technology
SAN DIEGO — General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Army through the Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium to evaluate and mature electromagnetic railgun weapon system capabilities to support the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Command (ARDEC), the company announced in a March 1 release.
The three-year period of performance contract will team GA-EMS with ARDEC to advance railgun technologies, deliver a series of prototypes, and perform system integration and testing for mission effectiveness and possible integration with existing and future Army vehicles.
“This contract allows the ARDEC to leverage our on-going research, development, and testing to advance railgun technologies and further develop railgun weapon systems for Army applications enhancing their effectiveness against multiple types of threats,” said Nick Bucci, vice president of missile defense and space systems at GA-EMS. “The railgun weapon system is intended to integrate with existing Army systems and complement conventional capabilities, providing an effective counter to aircraft, rocket and cruise missile raids as well as other threats.”
“Using hypersonic projectiles, railgun provides the soldier with shorter time to target, achieves effectiveness at longer range, and provides a lower cost per engagement than conventional interceptors,” added Mike Rucker, director of programs for Missile Defense Systems.
GA-EMS has successfully designed and built multi-mission railgun systems ranging from an integrated 3 Mega Joule (MJ) test asset and a larger 32MJ system, to a new mobile 10MJ railgun system. GA-EMS’ unique approach to packaging and distribution of pulsed power reduces the system footprint required to launch guided hypersonic projectiles.
This contract award will leverage over four years of engineering, development and testing of railgun launched hypersonic projectiles to advance and mature the railgun system to meet future Army mission requirements.