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What makes the U.S. Military’s Electromagnetic Railgun so p[powerful? Missiles can be prone to spoofing, or jamming, and can potentially be intercepted and destroyed. Despite boasting some of the most advanced missiles in the world, the US military quickly realized that there was still some merits to good old fashioned ‘dumb’ projectiles, but instead of looking back at the past, the US looked toward the future. Welcome to another episode of The Infographics Show- the US Military’s most powerful cannon, the electromagnetic railgun.
Even before the age of sail with its famous frigates and ships-of-the-line full of cannons, man has been putting long range weapons aboard ships. Early naval vessels were often equipped with catapults or ballistae, and their purpose was much the same as it remains today- help soften up enemy coastal defenses or destroy other ships at sea. Today’s military warships however seem to have all but completely replaced traditional naval artillery with something completely new- the long-range antiship missile, or land-attack cruise missile. While superior in every way to traditional cannons, defensive technology has very quickly caught up and today’s high-tech missiles are all too often at risk of being countered by enemy missile defenses. High powered lasers can burn out a missile’s guidance system at long range, powerful jamming pods can interfere with a missile’s targeting, electronic warfare suites can even hack into a missile’s active guidance and disrupt it, and smaller, more agile missiles or high-speed computer controlled chain guns can intercept them mid-flight.
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