General Atomics Test Fires Advance Gun-Launched Projectile Interceptor Design – SEAPOWER Magazine Online


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SAN DIEGO — General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has completed a major test series in collaboration with the Army and Navy to advance the state-of-the-art in gun-launched defensive projectile interceptor designs, the company said March 10.

Identical projectile designs were test fired from a railgun at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and a powder gun at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The projectiles reached record hypersonic velocities from the railgun launch and tested the projectiles’ guided flight capabilities from both gun systems. GA-EMS delivered projectiles with integrated gun-hardened guidance electronics to test their capability to sustain data links and control trajectory while the projectiles undergo intense G-forces at hypersonic speeds. 

“Close communication among the team members was critical to the outcome of this effort,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “We tested significant advancements in our projectile design, demonstrating survivability and good aerodynamic performance at these velocities, while testing guidance capabilities that promise greater precision and accuracy to effectively meet and defeat airborne threats.” 

GA-EMS fabricated and delivered completed projectile assemblies which contain guidance electronics and control actuation systems. GA-EMS worked closely with the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center and the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Dahlgren Division to perform several test firings. During the first test series, projectiles were launched using the Navy’s 32 megajoule railgun system at the White Sands Missile Range. The second test series fired the same projectile designs from a 120mm powder gun at Dugway Proving Ground 

“We have completed our contract to fabricate, deliver, and test prototype projectiles in railgun and powder gun environments,” Forney said. “GA-EMS continues to develop technologies to bring the most affordable, gun-launched hypersonic and supersonic weapon system capabilities to the future battlespace.”   


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