Rapid Fire Railgun For The Cannon Caliber Electromagnetic Gun System

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Zielinski, A.E.
Werst, M.D.
Kitzmiller, J.R.

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A rapid fire railgun launcher has been designed and fabricated and a single-shot prototype has been tested for the Cannon Caliber Electromagnetic Gun (CCEMG) System. Three, five round salvos of 185 g launch packages are to be accelerated to 1850 m/s at a rate of 5 Hz. The 2.25 m launcher has a 30 mm round bore equivalent, rectangular geometry and is water-glycol cooled. Rapid fire operation is achieved by driving the launcher with multiple 835 kA pulses provided by the CCEMG compulsator. The launcher is a series augmented railgun and has demonstrated breech efficiencies over 50%. A high CCEMG system efficiency is in part attributable to the use of a solid armature and is enhanced by having a structurally stiff railgun. Historically, a railgun's stiffness was proportional to its weight. Laboratory based railguns that have respectable mechanical properties have required massive structures that are nowhere near meeting the requirements of future vehicle integration and weaponization. The Cannon Caliber railgun design incorporates a directional preloading mechanism, ceramic sidewalls and a composite overwrap which together give it a structural stiffness dominated by high modulus ceramic with an overall mass of only 273 kg. These characteristics make the Cannon Caliber launcher one of the most >fieldable> railguns built to date.


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A.E. Zielinski, M.D. Werst, and J.R. Kitzmiller, “Rapid fire railgun for the cannon caliber electromagnetic gun system,” 8th Electromagnetic Launch Symposium, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., April 22-24, 1996.