SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) – The US Navy revealed a $250million Navy project could change the way the US fights wars, a new “railgun” was shown off at a naval base in San Diego.
The new railgun is said to be smaller, cheaper, and more destructive.
“It can shoot down ballistic missiles, it can shoot down very advanced cruise missiles, and it can shoot down fast moving aircraft,” said Matthew Klunder, Chief of Naval Research.
“It’s extremely safe and it’s extremely effective,” added Klunder.
The projectile travels at more than 5,000 miles per hour.
To put that into perspective, it would be like traveling from Wichita to Kansas City in under 3 minutes.
The long-range weapon fires projectiles using electricity generated by the ship, instead of gunpowder.
The electromagnetic force accelerates the missile to mach 7.5 and it can travel 50 to 100 nautical miles.
The price of railgun shells are a fraction of the price of normal missiles, only $25,000 per shell.
“We want the American public to know now that we have a gun system that is so effective and so affordable that now our adversaries will know that before they even try to do something, they will lose,” said Klunder.
The railgun is scheduled to go aboard a new joint high speed cargo ship for further testing in 2016. It is scheduled to become operational in 2018.