General Atomics Develops HEPPC With Twice Energy Than Existing Railgun Weapon Systems

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  • 02:33 PM, March 10, 2017
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General Atomics Develops HEPPC With Twice Energy Than Existing Railgun Weapon Systems
Raytheon's containerized pulse power packs designed to support field tests of the electromagnetic rail gun. Photo: Raytheon.

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has developed a High Energy Pulsed Power Container (HEPPC) that provides twice the energy density than existing railgun pulsed power solutions.

The HEPPC can reduce the number of pulsed power containers required to launch projectiles or hybrid missiles from a railgun weapon system, providing greater flexibility for future Navy and Army railgun applications, the company said in a statement Thursday.

“For the past decade, GA-EMS has provided pulsed power in support of the Navy’s railgun program,” stated Nick Bucci, vice president Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS. “Our next generation HEPPC breaks our own energy density record and exceeds the capabilities of other available railgun pulsed power container solutions. What we have packed into a 10-foot standard shipping container is equivalent to what is currently available in a 20-foot shipping container, doubling the energy density to provide greater flexibility for ship and land-based installations and maneuverability for mobile applications.” 

GA-EMS internally funded the development of the HEPPC in support of a Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun Weapons System, which integrates pulsed power, launcher, hybrid missile, and fire control technologies. Each HEPPC includes high energy pulsed power modules with an energy content of more than 415 kilojoules (kJ) per module. Each module utilizes GA-EMS’ world-record-breaking high energy density capacitors. 

 “We continue to invest in and advance railgun technologies. We are performing risk reduction and technology maturation, and testing hybrid missiles under real-world conditions to provide critical capabilities needed to counter complex threats, cost effectively,” Bucci said. 

GA-EMS is advancing technology development toward multi-mission railgun weapon systems. Railguns launch hybrid missiles using electromagnetic forces instead of chemical propellants and can deliver muzzle velocities greater than twice those of conventional guns. GA-EMS’ railgun technology, when integrated into a weapon system that includes the launcher, high density capacitor driven pulsed power and weapon fire control system, can launch hybrid missiles with shorter time-to-target and greater effectiveness at longer range. 

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