Electromagnetic Railgun Is the Scariest Super Weapon Since the Atomic Bomb (VIDEO)

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electromagnetic railgunIs it just me, or is the test footage of the military's new electromagnetic railgun incredibly scary? The Naval super weapon has been in the works since 2005, but testing was limited to experimental lab models up until this point. Now that we have visual evidence of what this thing can really do ... well, I'm fairly terrified.

Because what it can really, really do is pretty terrifying: It can fire a 40-pound metal slug up to 5,600 miles per hour from New York to Philadelphia -- that's over 7 times the speed of sound. The force at which it hits a target is apparently 32 times the force of a "1-ton car being thrust at 100 mph."

Look, I'm not disputing the incredible technical achievement this signifies. I'm not even going to get into the astronomical price tag on this project (so far, $240 million) or whether developing a weapon worthy of a sci-fi flick is really necessary or justifiable.

I'm just going to say that this video of the electromagnetic railgun in action chills me to the bone. And I've felt that same sense of cold dread before.

Once upon a time, nuclear weapons were in the developmental phase, too. Have you ever seen footage of an atomic bomb test? Yes, it's amazing that human beings figured out a way to harness that much power. Have you ever seen what that power can do to human beings? Chernobyl. Hiroshima.

Devastation doesn't begin to cover it.

Watch this clip of the electromagnetic railgun being tested ...

Now watch this declassified U.S. Nuclear Test film from the 1960s (the atomic bomb footage starts at around 9:42, but the entire video is a pretty fascinating history lesson):

Horrifying.

It just makes me wonder what good can ever come from creating a weapon of mass destruction.

Do you see the similarities between these two videos? What do you think about the new electromagnetic railgun?


Image via usnavyresearch/YouTube

2010, in the news, military, nuclear

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Jessica Miller

I hate to say it, but I question the validity of your opinion on National Defense issues when your job is to write for parenting magazines. Progress, particularly this type, is bound to inspire fear in the hearts of those who have no concept of their necessity in an ever-changing world.

PonyC... PonyChaser

My internet is being a snot today, so I can't watch these videos, but on the topic at large...


Yes, it is horrible when we have to develop these kinds of weapons. But we are not the only ones doing it. Iran is on the cusp of becoming a nuclear nation. They may already have the technology to make nukes. And you know for sure that those nukes are going to be pointed at us.


This is an argument that will never be solved, but look at it this way: it is the 2nd Amendment, only on a global scale. You can make all the gun laws you want, take the guns out of every law-abiding citizen, but that's not going to stop the bad guys and the gangs from getting them. The only *real* way to deter those bad guys from using their guns is for you to have a bigger one.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Also, yes, the collateral damage is horrific - I know the humanity lost at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was tragic - but... those that have weapons aimed at us don't care about that. Given a good enough reason (we exist - for some, that's enough), they will launch an attack. Which do you prefer? Sitting here debating our fate, or having a bigger, badder gun that might head them off?


Frankly, I'm all for continuing the debate - as long as I've got the bigger, badder gun. Because someday we might solve it, but only when those who want us dead are willing to come to the table. And no, I don't trust them enough to put mine down first.

Betwe... BetweenCourses

I'm thankful for the atomic bomb. Why? Because of that arms race I now get electricity at my home from that technology.... Called nuclear power plant. What good can come of this? That has yet to be seen, but, better batting cages maybe? Faster transportation? New way to send messages -forget email, snail mail, texts, try railgun mail! :)

orang... orangetree

Fat Man and Little Boy still haunt the hills around my home....

nonmember avatar G

"Horrifying.

It just makes me wonder what good can ever come from creating a weapon of mass destruction."

How is a rail gun a weapon of mass destruction? It's essentially an upgraded cannon, good for hitting precision targets at extremely long range pretty much the opposite of a WMD which indiscriminately hits everything in a large area. If we are going to be spending money on weapons development this is exactly the sort of thing we should be working on.

Ava Wilson

Not to mention neither of those are necessarily the most terrifying. Two scientists figured out decades ago that you can create sound weapons that will liquify your insides after causing you intense agony for minutes on end and released that information to the military. They had to turn around immediately and try to figure out how to make a shield against it because 'holy fuck' they just created one of the worst weapons they possibly could have. More enticing for humans to use because it leaves infrastructure intact, it just kills the humans.

nonmember avatar someoldguy

I think the author is hyperventilating. The railgun is not only old technology, it's also not a bomb. It's a gun. It doesn't explode, it punches holes in things. Like large warships and concrete bunkers. It's not a particularly effective weapon against people (i.e. cities). I'm much more worried about lost Russian "suitcase nukes" or some bunch of crazies getting their hands on nuclear waste and making a "dirty bomb."

I lived through the Cuban missile crisis as a kid in Los Angeles, with the sirens, the duck and cover drills, and all that fun stuff. I had nightmares from it for years afterwards. This fancy popgun isn't going to give me nightmares.

nonmember avatar Troy

"It just makes me wonder what good can ever come from creating a weapon of mass destruction."

Japan stopped killing thousands of Pacific Rim inhabitants, stopped raping Chinese women, stopped killing Chinese civilians, stopped torpedoing our ships, stopped killing our military and civilian personnel. It help convince Germany that we meant business on that front too. Then later during the Cold War, it insured that you are now writing this diatribe in English instead of Russian. It gave you nuclear reactors making electricity cheap. Because of that, it effectively gave you the Internet, by the cheap energy allowing scientists to communicate more effectively. Someday it may even save the species, because at this point, it is the only thing powerful enough to turn a threatening asteroid or comet away from killing us all.

Yes, it's important, but you have to drop the myopic world view to see it.

Rickey Anderson

And that's why aliens won't talk to us

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