The US Navy has successfully tested a rail gun capable of target ranges in excess of 100 nautical miles, five times the range of current projectile guns.
Rail guns operate from massive amounts of electricity rather than a chemical propellant. Not having to store gun powder is a distinct safety advantage for ship use. The projectile does not have a war head for an explosion, the speed of the projectile is enough to disrupt and destroy a target.
The time-line for deployment as an active weapon on board ships is by 2020. The newest Zumwalt class of destroyers will be the first to use the new rail guns.
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