So many of you sent me this article, that I had to blog about it. The US Navy is nearing the test of is known as a railgun, which may go operational soon:

The 5,400mph superweapon: 'Star Wars' gun can fire shells at seven times speed of sound through concrete 100 miles away

The principle has long been known, and in fact even prior to World War One, some European scientists and inventors were exploring it as a replacement for conventional artillery. During World War Two, the Nazis, as to be expected, also researched the idea, though to my knowledge, there is not much evidence other than the occasional picture of a projectile self-evidently designed to be used in a railgun.

The problem with the idea has not been the principle, but the technology, for a railgun requires enormous power, which at the time could not be generated without installations so large that the operational practicality and return was minimal. The evident progress now indicates that the gun may soon form a new kind of naval artillery, one of such vast range and power that even the aircraft carrier might conceivably eventually be eclipsed once again by the battleship, updated with ultra-longrange railguns.

The fantasy isn't as far-fetched as one might think, for as the Daily Mail article references about indicates, the idea of a railgun was explored in conjunction with President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars missile defense project, as a system of localized point defense against missiles. Various versions of the railgun idea were explored, including a kind of "shotgun" version that would propel hundreds or thousands of small projectiles into the path of oncoming missiles at such extreme velocity that the missile and its warhead would simply be destroyed.

Eventually, such a system will be deployed as a space based defensive system, if it has not already been(which I suppose it has). But ultimately, this system, as the current model implies, could be "scaled up" to become a very different system for long range strategic bombardment, from land, or, in the model of a "mass-driver", from space. The latter is a long way off, of course...

...or so we're assured.

See you on the flip side.

Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. Partyman on April 27, 2014 at 1:52 am

    I remember, quite a whiloe back, reading something about Nazi railgun experiments, apparently they gave it all away due to the projectiles melting due to air friction before reaching their targets. They were looking for a way to get around the shortage of chemicals required for conventional artillery.
    (This same shortage damped their experiments on recoiless weapons too.)

  2. DownunderET on April 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    They can invent all kinds of new weapons, tanks, rail guns, and on and on we could go. The thing IS, wars will not be fought with conventional weapons in the future. Anybody who thinks wars will involve boots on the ground, fighter jets and battleships is kiddin themselves. All these new weapons are for show and the media to beat it up.
    Remember 9/11 anyone, that technology exists, and whoever has it holds the world in the palm of his hand, so all this new stuff invented for killing people is “THEATRE”.

  3. marcos toledo on April 25, 2014 at 8:53 am

    But I have associated Mass Drivers with propulsion systems for space travel since O’Neil I forget the first name of L-5 Sociality space colonies fame. Well another toy for the Military to play as if they don’t have enough toys to play with now.

  4. jedi on April 25, 2014 at 6:28 am

    …funny you mentioned you just saw the forgotton in a interview recently, seems when it came out on cable they dubbed air plane and airports with buses and terminals.
    It should of been trains and stations.

    ….”well”…Samantha response to Darwood when he pondered the Norway spiral.

  5. CRISTIAN on April 25, 2014 at 6:19 am

    A BIG TOY for a BIG BOY

    • DanaThomas on April 25, 2014 at 10:48 am

      For all its limitations I think that the Freudian viewpoint still has something to say about this foolish race as to who has got the “biggest one”…referring to missiles of course.

      • jedi on April 25, 2014 at 11:03 am

        ah the ole light saber, I carry one that emits a yellow light….the only jedi in 2 millennium that has.

        It cuts through blast doors no p.

  6. CRISTIAN on April 25, 2014 at 5:48 am

    A woderful toy.but sadly used for killing people

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