On December 10, 2010, the Office of Naval Research fired a world-record setting 33 megajoule Electromagnetic Railgun shot, breaking the previous record established January, 31, 2008.
One megajoule is a unit of energy roughly equal to the energy generated by a 1-ton vehicle moving at 100 MPH.
Instead of relying on explosive propellants like gunpowder to fire, the gun uses a giant surge of electricity to propel the slug out of the barrel at speeds that can approach Mach 8 and can strike targets more than 100 miles away.
Navy officials said the gun isn’t going to be ready for battle any time soon.
Rear Adm. Nevin P. Carr Jr., chief of Naval Research, told the Post he would like to see the railgun demonstrated at sea by 2018 and deployed on ships in the early 2020s.
The Navy wants to be able to fire the gun at 64 megajoules by 2025, making it capable of sending a bullet 200 miles in six minutes.
(This comment includes notes from December 12, 2010 article from NY Daily News by Philip Caulfield).