Monday, January 11, 2016

Navy's Rail Gun Still Headed to Sea, but When, Where?

 One of the prime attributes of the DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers is the design’s 78-megawatt integrated power system, able to switch electrical power between propulsion, sensor and weapon systems. It’s long been touted as the best platform to field new energy-gobbling weapons like rail guns and lasers.
A year ago, however, it appeared the first ship that might carry a rail gun to sea might be a joint high speed vessel (JHSV) fitted with a temporary installation. Briefers at naval exhibitions spoke publicly of the plans, and at least one model of the proposed demonstration was on display.
Plans for the at-sea demonstration remain in place, officials said, but it’s looking more likely that a test using an expeditionary fast transport (EPF) — the new designation for JHSVs — won’t take place at least until 2017, if at all.
“What I’m finding is if I go ahead with the demo it will slow my development,” Rear Adm. Pete Fanta, director of surface warfare, said during a Dec. 30 interview at the Pentagon. “I would rather get an operational unit out there faster than do a demonstration that just does a demonstration.Read Full Article