General Atomics successfully test-fired aerodynamic rounds from its Blitzer(tm) electromagnetic (EM) railgun prototype for the first time in October 2010. This test demonstrated the integration and capabilities of a tactically relevant EM railgun launcher, pulsed power system, and projectile. The test was performed at the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Grounds under a contract with the Office of Naval Research, using projectiles developed by Boeing's Phantom Works in St. Charles, Mo. The projectiles were launched by the Blitzer system at Mach 5 speed with acceleration levels exceeding 60,000 gee, and exhibited repeatable sabot separation and stable flight.
Blitzer will provide leap-ahead multi-mission capability in both naval and land-based applications. Using one weapons system, it provides defensive capability against a number of advanced air and surface threats and delivers strike capability against land- and sea-based targets. With demonstrated muzzle velocities greater than twice that of conventional gun systems, Blitzer provides a dramatic increase in standoff and lethality at lower cost, without the need for propellants or high explosives.
"The GA team and its government partners continue to make rapid progress in demonstrating and maturing this revolutionary technology that will significantly improve the capability and protection of our warfighters at sea and on land," says GA Advanced Weapon Launcher Systems Director Tom Hurn. "The tested systems performed flawlessly and consistent with performance expectations."
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