This invention relates to a rail gun that discharges rounds at very high velocities by using electromagnetic fields to accelerate the rounds.
While the name brings one back to the iconic weapons of classic shooters such as „Doom" and „Quake", in which the rail gun had a „one shot, one kill" effect, it will be interesting to see whether this technology will actually see use in the field.
The only practical attempts to put an electromagnetic rail gun into use (admittedly on the much larger naval scale*) have failed partially because of problems mentioned in the patent. These are mainly the large amount of electrical energy required to fire the gun, and a tendency to fail when subjected to rough environmental factors.
The patent directly addresses difficulties such as resource management, the complexity of the weapon, and the risk of failure during use in the field. It tries to solve these problems by a relatively simple weapon design, so that unexpected failure can be minimized, and economic usage of electrical energy, which consequently requires a much smaller battery to be carried by the user.
While promising in theory, there is further proof of concept needed to showcase its superiority over conventional firing systems. Classic assault rifles have proven themselves to be reliable in the field. Introducing a new, possibly failure-prone technology as standard equipment is a risk not many armed forces would be willing to take.
It is also questionable how cost effective the mass production of such a weapon would be. Unless only reserved for the next generation of highly specialized super soldiers, it unfortunately appears that the electromagnetic railgun won’t surpass conventional weaponry in reliability and cost effectiveness.
*https://www.naval-technology.com/comment/railgun-potentially-cancelled-went-wrong-us-superweapon/ Companies: Military, Police, Security
Thank you for the great insights, Matei!