The futuristic electromagnetic weapon we’re talking about called Blitzer is not a new one, General Atomics presented it some time ago. This time though they used a new version of rounds. And the video from firing them was posted on the internet by Defense Tech. What’s amazing about the new round is that it can fly for about 7 kilometers after hitting a 1/8-inch thick steel plate.
The round develops the speed of around 1600 m/s (ca. Mach 5) which actually is not the highest speed a railgun is capable of, but due to very good aerodynamic qualities of the round the flight is stable and far. The previous rounds were like “hypersonic bricks” – hard to control and not that impressive, so the company started testing a different type, aerodynamic sabot rounds, says General Atomics’ Tom Hurn.
The round consists of three parts: the base is responsible for generating the force, there’s also the sabot (a part enabling more stable flight and separating from the main part after a while), and the aerodynamic core of the bullet which hits the target.
See how it works on the video below. It’s quite impressive, no doubt.
The main difference between a railgun and a more ordinary gun is that railgun does not use any explosion to fire. It uses electricity instead. The bullet covered with a thick layer of conductive material is put between two conductive rails, which are then connected to a power source. That creates a strong electromagnetic force which pushes the bullet with an extreme speed.