Feb. 28 - A new generation of weapons that can fire missiles at more than 9000 kph (5600 mph) is undergoing tests by the U.S. Navy at its facility in Virginia. Engineers have test-fired the navy's first industry-built electromagnetic railgun prototype launcher in what they describe as an important step toward a future tactical weapon for ships. Ben Gruber reports.
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The next generation of shipboard weapons will be designed to fire a projectile at more than 9000 kilometres per hour.
It's called a rail-gun and unlike conventional ship-based guns, it's powered by a massive jolt of electro-magnetic energy. Navy engineers are testing the gun with a view to incorporating it with existing defence systems at sea.
Ultimately the Navy wants a gun that can send a bullet 320 kilometres in just six minutes, ten times farther than any gun in use by the Navy today.
Ben Gruber, Reuters