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Old 02-29-2012, 11:14 AM   #1
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Piping Bob Heinlein aboard

New Navy Railgun Tests Leading to Ship Superweapon by 2020 - Yahoo! News

'Velocitas Eradico'

You think the adversaries can keep up?
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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I imagine that when they 'fire' that thing, it would wipe out any non-hardened communications for 100 miles around anyhow! Hard to imagine that level of EMI and what they do to contain and protect against it.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:12 PM   #3
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Great. I want one. Could put a stop to all the cellphone yappers for miles around. Permanently.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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Could replace cruise missiles. I wonder if this will bring back the battleship? Big guns instead of missiles.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
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Did you see how many cables they have running to that thing? They might need a nuclear reactor just to power it!
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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It's always a bit scary to see an offensive weapon developed to which we don't already have a good defense--and it doesn't matter much who owns it right now. Defenses against missiles, aircraft, etc depend on defeating their guidance systems (jamming) or directly attacking their relatively fragile airframes (CIWS/Phalanx, Patriot, etc). Neither of these approaches work very well against an unguided hypersonic slug.
I guess the best defense will be to remain unseen. Hmm--an SSBN already has the stealthiness and the power supply at hand. Pop up, shoot, and scoot. Now THAT's a deck gun!

And Ed, I gotta say R. Heinlein would be proud. This project merges his affection for the USN, science fiction, and SDI.

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Old 02-29-2012, 09:23 PM   #7
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Did you see how many cables they have running to that thing? They might need a nuclear reactor just to power it!
We usually have one or two on board.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:24 PM   #8
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It's always a bit scary to see an offensive weapon developed to which we don't already have a good defense--and it doesn't matter much who owns it right now. Defenses against missiles, aircraft, etc depend on defeating their guidance systems (jamming) or directly attacking their relatively fragile airframes (CIWS/Phalanx, Patriot, etc). Neither of these approaches work very well against an unguided hypersonic slug.
That may be, but IIRC the article said they were going to have a guided projectile in future.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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And Ed, I gotta say R. Heinlein would be proud. This project merges his affection for the USN, science fiction, and SDI.
He was all of that.

By the way, remember Starman Jones? The mag-lev trains (= train-sized rail guns)?
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:21 PM   #10
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We usually have one or two on board.
I so wanted one of these for my torpedo room.

I hear the railgun project is working out a lot better than trying to persuade the aviators to test-drive the electromagnetic catapult. The railgun is apparently not reassuring them, either.

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He was all of that.
By the way, remember Starman Jones? The mag-lev trains (= train-sized rail guns)?
I was thinking more of "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" Mycroft's lunar launching system for chucking large hunks of moon rocks at selected global coordinates...

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Could replace cruise missiles. I wonder if this will bring back the battleship? Big guns instead of missiles.
Um, you might want to keep the range and flexibility options of the GLOBAL HAWKs and the TOMAHAWK cruise missile.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:36 PM   #11
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I imagine that when they 'fire' that thing, it would wipe out any non-hardened communications for 100 miles around anyhow! Hard to imagine that level of EMI and what they do to contain and protect against it.

-ERD50
So when the dust settles, I gotta buy a new watch. Whoopieding. By the time this is rolled out I have an inkling that this bitsy thing will be sorted out.

My thoughts: I want to be able to smoke our adversaries. But, I do not want adversaries. I want to fix it, heal wounds, build countries, sort things out. But, if you want to fight--ADMF. Some old broken-down Dutchman said, "Speak softly, but carry a big stick".
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:57 PM   #12
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So when the dust settles, I gotta buy a new watch. Whoopieding. By the time this is rolled out I have an inkling that this bitsy thing will be sorted out.
It's a ship filled with computers & communications electronics. They've been hardened against TEMPEST and EMP for generations. The gun will be encased in the Faraday cage from hell. The grounding strap will be the diameter of a human leg. No worries.

I have to admit that it'd be interesting to see this thing fired during a thunderstorm!

As sexy as this program may be, I suspect it'll also be the first bargaining chip tossed onto the DoD budget table. "Well, Congressman, you can either keep the railgun contractor in business in your district, or we can raise Tricare fees on your military constituents by 15%. Your choice. When do you start your recess for your re-election campaign?"

Personally, I think that professional humor columnist (and amateur beer-launcher) Dave Barry has saved up enough money to buy whatever railguns they've already produced.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:29 AM   #13
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Using the rail gun to shoot beer cans would be awesome. I hope I'm around long enough to see myth busters do a segment.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:11 PM   #14
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Doesn't have to be a big bang type weapon. Francis Fukuyama wrote an interesting piece for the FT titled "Why we all need a drone of our own" Why we all need a drone of our own - FT.com

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For the past couple of months, I’ve been building myself a surveillance drone. My craft consists of a remotely controlled quadcopter – a small helicopter with four rotor blades that looks like a flying X – with an onboard video camera that sends a live feed back to my laptop base station. It also transmits telemetry data about its altitude, speed, bearing and location from its onboard global positioning system receiver. In future, I plan to equip the aircraft with an autopilot system that will allow it to fly from one GPS-specified location to another without my having to pilot it.
He goes on to discuss drones for personal, military and other use, including insect size drones for targeting individuals.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:54 PM   #15
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Doesn't have to be a big bang type weapon. Francis Fukuyama wrote an interesting piece for the FT titled "Why we all need a drone of our own" Why we all need a drone of our own - FT.com


He goes on to discuss drones for personal, military and other use, including insect size drones for targeting individuals.
Or delivering cocaine to customers without getting busted?
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:01 PM   #16
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Or delivering cocaine to customers without getting busted?
What a great idea. Why Ed, I'm shocked.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:55 PM   #17
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According to what I hear from the RC guy in our family, the FAA is in the process of creating some new rules/laws concerning RC aircraft. The FPV systems (first person view) mentioned above may likely become regulated and/or classified as something other than line of sight RC. Still speculation at this point from what I hear.
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