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CNO Observes Successful Rail Gun Demonstration

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080201-07
Release Date: 2/1/2008 11:35:00 AM

From the Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead witnessed firsthand a technological milestone met by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Jan. 31 during a successful and world-record test firing of an electromagnetic rail gun at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren.

A rail gun uses electricity vice chemical propellants, which current shipboard guns use, to fire projectiles at a range exceedingly 200 miles and at a velocity of mach seven. In comparison, the fleet's standard shipboard MK45 five-inch gun has a range of about 20 miles.

Roughead, who has served as a gunnery officer, addressed service and industry representatives following the demonstration, thanked them for their work, and stressed that it was technology such as the rail gun that he feels epitomizes the Navy, and which played a large part as to why as a young man he chose to serve in the Navy.

"The thing that always struck me about the Navy was the technology, the fact that we were always looking to the future, the fact that the Navy was in the forefront of great developments," Roughead explained. "And when I came in as the CNO, it was very important to me that we collectively, as a service, and as a department, never lose sight of always looking for the next big thing, always looking ahead, looking to make our capabilities better, more effective, and as warriors, more lethal, than what anyone else can put on the battlefield."

The pursuit of advanced technology serves a very important and crucial purpose according to Roughead.

"I never, ever want to see a Sailor or a Marine in a fair fight. I always want them to have the advantage," added Roughead.

Scientific and technological advances by the Navy are vital to executing the Maritime Strategy, and specifically, building the future force required to meet future threats.

"The research done here and the focus on science and technology will keep us moving into the future," Roughead said.

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