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General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced on 1 March it has won a three-year contract from the US Army via the Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium to evaluate and mature the capabilities of electromagnetic railgun weapon systems to support Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (ARDEC). The company will team with ARDEC, deliver a series of prototypes and perform system integration and testing for mission effectiveness and possible integration with existing and future Army vehicles.

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. The company’s 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 system to meet future mission requirements.

“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. 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,” commented the company’s Vice President of Missile Defense and Space Systems, Nick Bucci. “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 Director of Programmes for Missile Defense Systems, Mike Rucker.

GA-EMS will evaluate and mature technologies for further railgun system development, leveraging the several years’ worth of effort it has already invested. (Photo: General Atomics)

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