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L'US Navy étudie la possibilité d'intégrer le nouveau canon électromagnétique sur le 3ème DDG-1000 classe Zumwalt

L'US Navy étudie la possibilité d'intégrer le nouveau canon électromagnétique sur le 3ème DDG-1000 classe Zumwalt | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Engineering studies to include an electromagnetic railgun on a Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG-1000) have started at Naval Sea Systems Command, NAVSEA’s head said Thursday.

The work will do the math to determine if the Zumwalt-class will have the space, power and cooling to field a railgun – likely replacing one of the two 155mm BAE Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) ahead of the ship’s deck house, Vice Adm. William Hilarides told USNI News following remarks at the Office of Naval Research Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo.

“We have begun real studies – as opposed to just a bunch of guys sitting around – real engineering studies are being done to make sure it’s possible,” Vice Adm. William Hilarides said following remarks at

The likely candidate for the weapon would be the third planned Zumwalt, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) currently under construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) with an expected delivery date of 2018.

He said the first two ships – Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) – would be less likely to field the capability initially due to the schedule of testing with the new class.

“The team is working diligently now but it would not happen until after delivery of the ships – probably the third ship is where we’d have it,” Hilarides said.
“That would certainly be my recommendation.”

The Navy is in early stages of testing and fielding a railgun – which forgoes the gunpowder in the shells of conventional naval guns and instead uses high powered electromagnetic pulses along a set of rails to shoot a projectile at super sonic speeds.

The Navy plans to test a BAE Systems prototype railgun onboard the Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV- 3) next year.

Last year, then Navy director of surface warfare now commander of U.S. Surface Forces Command, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden told USNI News the Zumwalts would be likely used as test beds for emerging technologies like railguns and directed energy weapons the Navy wants for its next large surface combatant due to the ship’s size an ability to generate power.

The integrated power system (IPS) on the 16,000-ton ships– powered by two massive Rolls Royce MT-30 gas turbines and two smaller Rolls-Royce RR450– allow the ships to route and generate 80 mega-watt power – much more electrical power than the current crop of U.S. destroyers and cruisers.

On Wednesday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said a Zumwalt would likely be the first ship to get the capability.

The inclusion of the railgun does mean a capabilities trade for the ship.

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US Navy : le railgun (canon électromagnétique), une arme digne d’Hollywood (Le Marin)

US Navy : le railgun (canon électromagnétique), une arme digne d’Hollywood (Le Marin) | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

Source : Le Marin


Depuis trente ans, les États-Unis travaillent à la mise au point du railgun. Ce canon, aussi appelé canon électromagnétique, lance un projectile léger sans charge explosive à très haute vitesse. Le principe est d’accélérer par un champ magnétique (force de Lorenz) un projectile entre deux rails conducteurs, d’où le nom de railgun. L’énergie cinétique liée à cette vitesse (mach 7+) rend le projectile dévastateur mais nécessite une puissance électrique considérable.
Dans les années 1980-1990, l’US Army voulut intégrer un railgun sur un char, mais la puissance nécessaire impliquait un volume de batterie disproportionné.
Sur un navire de guerre, le railgun est moins pénalisé par ses encombrants accumulateurs. Sur un navire à propulsion nucléaire comme les nouveaux porte-avions américains à deux coeurs, un railgun ne manquera pas de puissance électrique.

OPÉRATIONNEL EN 2018

L’US Navy a financé deux railguns, l’un est fabriqué par General Atomics et l’autre par BAE Systems. Les essais à terre étant concluants, les railguns seront bientôt installés sur l’USNS Millinocket pour des essais en mer prévus pour 2016. Selon le contre-amiral Matthew Klunder, chef du département recherche de l’US Navy, le railgun sera opérationnel dès 2018.
Au-delà de la prouesse technologique, ce système est très économique avec un projectile valant 20 000 euros, soit 20 à 60 fois moins qu’un missile antiaérien (400 000 à 1 200 000 euros). Par ailleurs, un missile est encombrant et se périme rapidement, tandis qu’un projectile solide de railgun est inerte et de toute petite taille (10 kg). Le problème d’emport de munitions face aux redoutées attaques par saturation serait résolu. Reste à connaître la cadencen de tir exacte du railgun, mais cela reste classifié.
Avec cette arme, l’US Navy veut conserver son avance. Les premiers railguns seront destinés à la lutte anti-aérienne et antimissile. Avec une portée de 160 km, ils pourront atteindre un missile balistique comme les redoutés missiles antinavires chinois DF-21D. Un railgun est aussi capable d’atteindre une cible navale ou terrestre mais, sans charge explosive, il ne pourra effectuer de hardkill.

Pascal FRANCQUEVILLE

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Le futur canon électromagnétique de l'US Navy : rupture technologique pouvant rendre obsolète certains bâtiments de combat ?

Le futur canon électromagnétique de l'US Navy :  rupture technologique pouvant rendre obsolète certains bâtiments de combat ? | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

The U.S. Navy has confirmed previous plans to deploy its futuristic weapon--the electromagnetic railgun--on board one of it ships next year.

The deployment of the railgun on board the as yet unspecified naval vessel will commence sea trials stage for this weapon the Navy says will change the face of future sea warfare. This sea test will mark the first time an electromagnetic railgun has been demonstrated at sea, and is a significant advance in naval combat.

It follows successful land trials of the prototype that achieved breakthroughs in compact power and gun design. The Navy said it will test the next phase of prototype at both sea- and land-based sites in 2016 and 2017.

Once deployed in force by the next decade, the railgun will place at a serious disadvantage and may obsolete the surface naval forces of the U.S.' strategic competitors such as China.

The Navy will publicly display the futuristic weapon that uses electromagnetic energy to kill its targets for the first time from Feb. 4-5 at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology (S&T) EXPO in Washington, D.C.

The expo is a window into the future of the U.S. Navy, showcasing the latest advances in power projection and force protection.

"The electromagnetic railgun is among several disruptive capabilities that the Naval Research Enterprise is championing to ensure a dominant, capable and relevant naval force for the future," said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Mat Winter.

He added this year's expo will showcase the naval portfolio of innovative breakthrough technologies that are shaping the U.S. Navy's warfighting tactics and changing the way it will fight in the future.

The Navy describes its electromagnetic railgun as a long-range weapon that fires projectiles using electricity instead of chemical propellants. Magnetic fields created by the railgun launch projectiles at 4,500 mph towards targets 110 miles away or beyond the horizon.

The Navy expects that with its increased velocity and extended range, the railgun will give its warships a multi-mission capability, allowing them to conduct precise naval surface fire support or land strikes; ship defense and surface warfare.

A launch velocity of Mach 6 allows the railgun's projectiles to rely on kinetic energy for maximum effect, and reduces the amount of high explosives needed to be carried on ships.

A guided projectile is launched from a railgun at such high velocities it can achieve greater ranges than conventional guns. It maintains enough kinetic energy that it doesn't require any kind of high explosive payload when it reaches its target. The target such a warship is destroyed by massive kinetic impact.

"The electromagnetic railgun represents an incredible new offensive capability for the U.S. Navy," said Rear Adm. Bryant Fuller, the Navy's chief engineer. "This capability will allow us to effectively counter a wide-range of threats at a relatively low cost, while keeping our ships and sailors safer by removing the need to carry as many high-explosive weapons."

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