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Chewing Grass

DIY Railguns

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37 minutes ago, XswampyX said:

$25,000 !!! per shot. 

Like most military stuff, it doesn't actually cost that (well, in the same way a normal consumed asset might be costed).  It is the support cost divided by number of shots in the support.

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1 minute ago, dgul said:

Like most military stuff, it doesn't actually cost that (well, in the same way a normal consumed asset might be costed).  It is the support cost divided by number of shots in the support.

Yep, it's a bit more advanced than I first thought as it explodes near the object that they want to destroy. At Mach 7 (5370.88 MPH) that's pretty amazing.

Anyway they don't have to earn that $25,000 do they? ;)

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1 minute ago, XswampyX said:

Yep, it's a bit more advanced than I first thought as it explodes near the object that they want to destroy. At Mach 7 (5370.88 MPH) that's pretty amazing.

Anyway they don't have to earn that $25,000 do they? ;)

That $25,000 goes into the economy -- some guy in a factory can now buy a car, a boffin in a lab can buy a new hat, a HGV driver can get a burger.  It doesn't just disappear.

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Just now, dgul said:

That $25,000 goes into the economy -- some guy in a factory can now buy a car, a boffin in a lab can buy a new hat, a HGV driver can get a burger.  It doesn't just disappear.

Waht!

It has to come out of it first. 

Next you are going to tell me public sector workers pay income tax! xD

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10 minutes ago, XswampyX said:

Waht!

It has to come out of it first. 

Next you are going to tell me public sector workers pay income tax! xD

It is absolutely the broken window fallacy.  The world has one railgun projectile, where it could have spent its money (== labour and talent) on something more useful.  But the money does go back into the economy.  And maybe the railgun projectile is particularly useful if your country is about to be invaded (but that is a difficult judgement to make).

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1 minute ago, dgul said:

(but that is a difficult judgement to make)

I agree.

But the $25,000 was taken from ordinary people via the threat of force and given to the military to fire this weapon. It doesn't matter at all how they (the scientist, lorry driver or steel worker) spend it. The original owners of that $25,000 had their own (better?) plans for it.

At best the money still exists, but the wrong people now have it.

Having said all that if it's cheaper and better than what they had before then that's good, but only in the way that they didn't have to take more money from us plebs.

 

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When I was about twelve I made one of these out of a glass tube from my chemistry set.  A coil I wound myself and my toy train set transformer.  It shot pins and needles across the living room remarkably well.  My friends were impressed but I guess one of 'em talked and word got out.. I take full responsibility for the whole project.  Loose lips sink ships. 

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1 hour ago, Happy Renting said:

No dinner service is safe anymore.

If the dinner service was more than about 10 feet away from that amateur railgun, it was pretty safe, they were unable to hit the central part of a target the size of a dinner plate at 20 feet.

I was wondering about the electricity required to repeatedly fire the military railgun fast enough to take down multiple targets - how much? (question for the voltage geeks out there)

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11 minutes ago, MrPin said:

Well the energy is 1/2 M V^2.

See here :- http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/us-navys-railgun-dream-could-be-denied-by-two-big-problems-17301

Quote

The railgun launches rounds using electromagnetic force rather than explosive propellant. The USN prototype has 100MJ of pulse-power capacitors and a 25MW powerplant for recharging. The capacitors release their stored charge into the railgun barrel in a hundredth of a second, accelerating the projectile to about Mach 6. The USN’s goal is to fire ten rounds per minute, so the capacitors need to be recharged to fire every 6 seconds.
Few warships have the spare electrical capacity the weapon requires. The strongest candidate is the USN’s Zumwalt-class destroyer, whose 78MW integrated power system can dynamically distribute power between propulsion and on-board systems. It should have about 58MW of reserve power while steaming at 20 knots. By comparison, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer has only 7.5MW for on-board systems.
The USN previously had several nuclear-powered cruisers, but the last were decommissioned in the 1990s. A new class of nuclear-powered warships could host multiple railguns (or other power-hungry weapons). But before the USN commits the kind of money required, it has to prove that the weapon is worth the investment.

 

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Tyler has been writing articles about the railgun for several years - especially regard to the new US heavy cruiser which, as the projectiles are so expensive, has had its railgun put on hold.

Anyhow, if you are interested, here is Tyler's latest article on the railgun. He usually puts links to his previous articles on it in the latest article.

Btw, be proud - one of the two options for the US is a BAE railgun.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/12716/watch-the-navys-electromagnetic-railguns-autoloader-feed-a-multi-shot-salvo

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