After 16 years of development, the U.S. Navy (Navy) is thinking of scrapping the railgun.
“The Navy’s draft budget for fiscal year 2022, released May 28, 2021, as part of a larger U.S. military request, zeroed out two separate items related to railgun research and development,” the publication writes.
The Drive notes that the creation of the railgun began back in 2005, and the corresponding program was funded through a number of different articles.
Work on the railgun is scheduled to wind down in the current fiscal year. “The railgun technology and data achieved will be documented and preserved,” the current document states.
The publication recalls that as of 2017, in ground tests, the railgun proved capable of ejecting projectiles accelerating to speeds of more than Mach six numbers. The munitions were planned to be able to hit targets in the air and at sea at a range of about 260 kilometers, but as time went on, “the status of this program and any results it might achieve became less and less clear.”
The publication notes that today the U.S. Navy is working on a Hyper-Velocity Projectile (HVP) design based on the railgun munition, but admits that the railgun could still receive support in fiscal year 2022, but doubts that will happen.
In September 2020, the Weapons Of World channel published on YouTube a video of a U.S. military exercise in which a 155mm Advanced Gun System (AGS) artillery unit mounted on an M110 Howitzer self-propelled howitzer intercepted a BQM-167 Skeeter air target that simulated a Russian cruise missile.