General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has successfully tested Blitzer railgun hypersonic projectiles at the US Army Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.
During the testing, hypersonic projectiles equipped with an enhanced guidance electronics unit (GEU) were fired from three megajoule Blitzer railgun system at accelerations greater than 30,000 times that of gravity.
The GEU equipped on the projectiles contains a new battery configuration and GA-EMS developed guidance, navigation, and control software.
GA-EMS Missile Defense and Space Systems vice-president Nick Bucci said: “We’re continuing to test at an impressive pace, building on the successes over the past year to advance both our Blitzer railgun systems and hypersonic projectile capabilities.
“We are on track to conduct another series of tests using the Blitzer ten-megajoule railgun system later this year. With each new firing, we continue maturing the technologies and performing risk reduction toward a multi-mission railgun weapon system that supports future operation on land and at sea.”
The GEU tests demonstrated a two-way data link that connected the in-flight projectiles and the ground station over the Dugway Proving Ground open range, GA-EMS stated.
Additionally, a new lightweight composite sabot demonstrated sabot separation and in-bore structural integrity at high acceleration levels.
The Blitzer railguns include a launcher, high-density pulsed power, and a weapon fire control system.
GA-EMS has also developed a high energy pulsed power container that provides twice the energy density of existing pulsed power systems for future military railgun applications.
Image: During the testing, hypersonic projectiles equipped with an enhanced GEU were fired from three megajoule Blitzer railgun system. Photo: courtesy of General Atomics.