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(Popular Mechanics)   Well now how are we going to shoot asteroids?   (popularmechanics.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Projectile, U.S. Navy's push, electromagnetic railgun weapon, Electromagnetic railguns, Gun, Navy's direction, conventional guns, next opportunity  
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811 clicks; posted to STEM » on 17 Jun 2021 at 12:17 AM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



34 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-06-16 5:35:40 PM  
We send in Bruce Willis instead...
 
2021-06-16 5:46:55 PM  
Well now how are we going to shoot astroids?


Hmm, roids?
 
2021-06-16 5:55:49 PM  
For farks' Sake it's like gen x practically has to chew your food for you.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-06-16 7:41:25 PM  
Crazy enough, I got rid of my astroids by changing how I sit the toilet seat.
 
2021-06-16 8:35:24 PM  
ass droids
 
2021-06-16 8:43:02 PM  
I was gonna ask the mods to change the typo, but you guys are having way too much fun
 
2021-06-16 9:13:46 PM  

mjjt: I was gonna ask the mods to change the typo, but you guys are having way too much fun


Well someone did and that person should be ashamed.
 
2021-06-17 12:30:36 AM  
Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.
 
2021-06-17 12:45:20 AM  

toddalmighty: ass droids


i.kym-cdn.comView Full Size
 
2021-06-17 12:46:53 AM  

toddalmighty: ass droids


cdn.vox-cdn.comView Full Size
 
2021-06-17 12:55:55 AM  
Yottawatt lasers are the way to go.  Everything is line of sight since it can just punch a hole through the planet to reach the target.
 
2021-06-17 1:31:28 AM  
A proper admin would have moved this to the main tab and not changed the typo.
 
2021-06-17 3:52:23 AM  
There goes any interesting valid premise for 'The Expanse.'

The Navy's new Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB), developed in conjunction with the U.S. Army, has a top speed of Mach 17 and a range of more than 1,700 miles.

I was impressed by the numbers that were released, I'd probably be more impressed by the real numbers.
 
2021-06-17 4:12:05 AM  
Mass Driver instead. Literally weaponize random junk and fling it at the enemy.
 
2021-06-17 5:49:42 AM  

Unsung_Hero: Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.


Problem is that the gun itself is quite large and requires a lot of power to operate, which requires a big powerplant to generate power for it, etc.  Also, how quickly can a big, heavy-ass railgun be turned around without moving the whole ship?

We already have so much experience with conventional guns...although the ammo is heavy and dangerous, the guns themselves are relatively small, require little power and they're easily maneuverable. The day may come when railguns are comparable, but it's not going to be today.

If we were in the business of heavy shore bombardment, then it might be useful...but as they said, the range is so short that it doesn't work due to the opponents likely having missiles with a much longer range.
 
2021-06-17 5:56:42 AM  
Sad. I was hoping they would name the first deployed rail gun "Coily Howard"
 
2021-06-17 5:57:15 AM  

Unsung_Hero: Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.


100 mile range is pathetic weaksauce unless you are attacking the UK from the coast.

Railguns were obsolete before they could be implemented. Fun concept, though
 
2021-06-17 6:20:24 AM  

uttertosh: Unsung_Hero: Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.

100 mile range is pathetic weaksauce unless you are attacking the UK from the coast.

Railguns were obsolete before they could be implemented. Fun concept, though


Railguns may be a better choice outside the atmosphere. Just let Newton do the talking.
 
2021-06-17 6:41:36 AM  
Buckner & Garcia - Hyperspace
Youtube OGNa98H5SxQ
 
2021-06-17 7:14:36 AM  

hubiestubert: uttertosh: Unsung_Hero: Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.

100 mile range is pathetic weaksauce unless you are attacking the UK from the coast.

Railguns were obsolete before they could be implemented. Fun concept, though

Railguns may be a better choice outside the atmosphere. Just let Newton do the talking.


You still have the problem of needing massive amounts of power.  And the added issue of its going to affect your trajectory/orbit, because Newton's Third Law.  Better to use either a beamed energy weapon, or a projectile with its own propellant (ie., a missile) so that you don't end up with unwanted delta V.
 
2021-06-17 7:15:26 AM  
A few thoughts:

1. Article is a little light on what tech, exactly, is going to be transferred off to enhance its existing weapons, but tech that enhances existing weapons may very well be worth $500m.

2. When it comes to defense acquisition, $500m is not a lot that big of a number any more.  The Navy was talking last year about a new class of frigate to replace the littoral combat ships, and the price tag on that was close to a billion each.

3. It's possible that this was just another one of those "blow a little R&D budget on something that we know isn't going to be practical given our current constraints -- or even that we know will never be practical given the laws of physics! -- just so our adversaries blow even more R&D money trying to figure out how the hell they're going to defend against it in the event we somehow make it work."  See also "Strategic Defense Initiative."
 
2021-06-17 7:30:18 AM  

hubiestubert: uttertosh: Unsung_Hero: Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.

100 mile range is pathetic weaksauce unless you are attacking the UK from the coast.

Railguns were obsolete before they could be implemented. Fun concept, though

Railguns may be a better choice outside the atmosphere. Just let Newton do the talking.


But, 'Railgun them from orbit' just doesn't have the same ring to it! ;p
 
2021-06-17 7:34:54 AM  

uttertosh: hubiestubert: uttertosh: Unsung_Hero: Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.

100 mile range is pathetic weaksauce unless you are attacking the UK from the coast.

Railguns were obsolete before they could be implemented. Fun concept, though

Railguns may be a better choice outside the atmosphere. Just let Newton do the talking.

But, 'Railgun them from orbit' just doesn't have the same ring to it! ;p


Maybe they should make ceramic coated tungsten discs to deploy from orbit as a weapon. They could call it the 'Pennies From Heaven' protocol, or something.
 
2021-06-17 7:52:58 AM  

dittybopper: hubiestubert: uttertosh: Unsung_Hero: Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.

100 mile range is pathetic weaksauce unless you are attacking the UK from the coast.

Railguns were obsolete before they could be implemented. Fun concept, though

Railguns may be a better choice outside the atmosphere. Just let Newton do the talking.

You still have the problem of needing massive amounts of power.  And the added issue of its going to affect your trajectory/orbit, because Newton's Third Law.  Better to use either a beamed energy weapon, or a projectile with its own propellant (ie., a missile) so that you don't end up with unwanted delta V.


Though I suppose it could work as a defensive weapon on, say, the Moon (or a moon).  Weight, space, and power requirement concerns are less for a fixed position, and the amount you'd change the orbit is so small it could be ignored.
 
2021-06-17 7:54:51 AM  
Better figure it out, the dinosaurs thought they were safe too.
The Day the Dinosaurs Died - Minute by Minute
Youtube dFCbJmgeHmA
 
2021-06-17 8:16:07 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Better figure it out, the dinosaurs thought they were safe too.
[YouTube video: The Day the Dinosaurs Died - Minute by Minute]


Actually, I think their thought process was a bit more limited.

Jurassic World Official Movie Clip #1 - Alive (2015) - Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard Movie HD
Youtube MfZwU24LWIA
 
2021-06-17 8:48:57 AM  

dittybopper: hubiestubert: uttertosh: Unsung_Hero: Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.

100 mile range is pathetic weaksauce unless you are attacking the UK from the coast.

Railguns were obsolete before they could be implemented. Fun concept, though

Railguns may be a better choice outside the atmosphere. Just let Newton do the talking.

You still have the problem of needing massive amounts of power.  And the added issue of its going to affect your trajectory/orbit, because Newton's Third Law.  Better to use either a beamed energy weapon, or a projectile with its own propellant (ie., a missile) so that you don't end up with unwanted delta V.


Clearly you'd add a second rail gun to the other side to cancel each other out to avoid trajectory disruption.. hope nothing important is in the way
 
2021-06-17 9:00:10 AM  

uttertosh: uttertosh: hubiestubert: uttertosh: Unsung_Hero: Well, I guess.  But I'd bet your average ship can hold a lot more railgun slugs than any other type of ammo, so for operation within that 100 mi range you'd think it'd be a better weapon.

Or maybe look at just how small a railgun could be made as a CIWS.

I dunno, I just like the idea that you don't need propellant.

100 mile range is pathetic weaksauce unless you are attacking the UK from the coast.

Railguns were obsolete before they could be implemented. Fun concept, though

Railguns may be a better choice outside the atmosphere. Just let Newton do the talking.

But, 'Railgun them from orbit' just doesn't have the same ring to it! ;p

Maybe they should make ceramic coated tungsten discs to deploy from orbit as a weapon. They could call it the 'Pennies From Heaven' protocol, or something.


Kinetic strike weapons are going to be a real bear to try to gain any sort of balance or treaty hammered out. Put a satellite in orbit, it throws crowbars with some attitude control, and being fair small, really hard to intercept, and you've got a high yield weapon on the cheap. That doesn't need a nuclear program, and can be turned out in the base form at any number of factories. The issue will be getting them into orbit without being seen.
 
2021-06-17 9:17:02 AM  
Since the next war will be over in 20 minutes, it makes sense that you don't have time to drive closer to shoot them with this and hit them with your sword. You will need to fire from where you are with long range weapons. Endurance won't mean much.
 
2021-06-17 9:32:18 AM  

KarmicDisaster: Since the next war will be over in 20 minutes,


I remember people saying that, way back in the year 2000.
 
2021-06-17 1:46:31 PM  
$500M to prove a thing that we didn't need and wasn't going to work wasn't useful or functional.
 
2021-06-17 2:02:54 PM  

dittybopper: Better to use either a beamed energy weapon


Too much heat generation and easy to block.
 
2021-06-17 5:17:25 PM  
"While the American railgun system appears shuttered, the fate of China's railgun program is still unknown."

I have a sneaking suspicion the Chinese railgun development program will very closely follow the development program of whoever else is still working on railguns...
 
2021-06-17 5:29:43 PM  

hubiestubert: Put a satellite in orbit, it throws crowbars with some attitude control, and being fair small, really hard to intercept, and you've got a high yield weapon on the cheap. That doesn't need a nuclear program, and can be turned out in the base form at any number of factories. The issue will be getting them into orbit without being seen.


Not that big of an issue. Instead of launching 15,000 Starlink satellites for your fancy new cellular network, you launch 14,000 Starlink satellites and 1,000 crowbar throwers. Who's going to notice?

/Or make the Starlink battery casings out of Tungsten and save enough rts fuel for a very aggressive de-orbit burn...
 
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