DN - Defence Notes

Blitzer railgun tests continue

12th May 2017 - 01:05 GMT | by Alice Budge in London

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General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced on 10 May the successful test firing of hypersonic projectiles from the 3MJ Blitzer railgun system.

During multiple firings form the Blitzer railgun, the missiles were launched at an acceleration of over 30,000g at the US Army Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

Nick Bucci, vice president missile defence and space systems, said the company was 'building on the successes over the past year to advance both our Blitzer railgun systems and hypersonic projectile capabilities'.

Bucci also stated that GA-EMS is 'on track to conduct another series of tests using the Blitzer 10MJ railgun system later this year'.

The hypersonic projectiles with enhanced Guidance Electronics Unit (GEU) also successfully demonstrated a continuous two-way link between the in-flight projectiles and the ground station.

In addition to the GEU, a new lightweight composite sabot was tested and demonstrated successful sabot separation and in bore structural integrity at the high acceleration levels.

The tests follow on from successful firings in April 2016, at the US Army's annual Maneuver and Fires integration Experiment (MFIX), Oklahoma before the system was moved to the Dugway Proving Ground.

Blitzer railguns, internally funded by GA-EMS, are test assets that include a launcher, high density pulsed power and weapon fire control system.

GA-EMS also announced the development and completion of the High Energy Pulsed Power Container (HEPPC) which provides double the energy density of existing pulsed power systems.

HEPPC is designed to reduce the footprint for pulsed power required to launch projectiles and offer greater flexibility for future navy and army railgun applications.

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