|The first railgun test with "devastating" success, taken with a prototype high-speed camera.|
|Brief||System for accelerating projectiles to high velocities using electromagnetic forces.|
During 1918, French inventor Louis Octave Fauchon-Villeplee invented an electric cannon that had a strong resemblance to the linear motor. He filed for a US patent on 1 April 1919, which was issued in July 1922 as patent no. 1,421,435 "Electric Apparatus for Propelling Projectiles". In his device, the wings of a projectile connect two parallel busbars, and the whole apparatus surrounded by a magnetic field. By passing current through busbars and projectile, a force is induced which propels the projectile along the busbars and into flight.
Some time before World War II the idea was revived by Joachim Hänsler of Germany's Ordnance Office, and an electric anti-aircraft gun was proposed. By late 1944 enough theory had been worked out to allow the Luftwaffe's Flak Command to issue a specification, which demanded a muzzle velocity of 2,000 m/s (6,600 ft/s) and a projectile containing 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) of explosive. The guns were to be mounted in batteries of six firing twelve rounds per minute, and it was to fit existing 12.8 cm Flak 40 mounts. It was never built. When details were discovered after the war it aroused much interest and a more detailed study was done, culminating with a 1947 report which concluded that it was theoretically feasible, but that each gun would need enough power to illuminate half of Chicago.
During 1950, Sir Mark Oliphant, an Australian physicist and first director of the Research School of Physical Sciences at the new Australian National University, initiated the design and construction of the world's largest homopolar generator. This machine was used to power a large-scale railgun, which was used as a scientific instrument.
Practical Applications Edit
There has been much speculation about the potential applications of railguns. Some have even theorised that railguns could be used to launch objects into Earth orbit. Such "mass drivers" could possibly be used to launch cargo into space for lower costs than current rocket based launch systems.
Sir Mark Oliphant's prototype railgun was bought in a public auction by a Dr. Albert William Wily, a representative for the Blue Mountains Technology Group. With capital investments from numerous members of the private sector, as well as the faculties and brainpower of the Syndicate affiliated BMTG, he made extensive progress in the field of railguns. With extreme range and high penetration, such weapons demonstrated great potential as a new weapons platform. Though a freak fire would claim Dr. Wily's life, the project was ultimately a success, and today railguns are employed by several private military contractors around the world.
Syndicate Usage Edit
A railgun is an electrical gun that accelerates a conductive projectile along a pair of metal rails using the Lorenz force. Railguns use two sliding or rolling contacts that permit a large electric current to pass through the projectile. This current interacts with the strong magnetic fields generated by the rails and accelerates the projectile. The more power that is pumped into the projector, the faster the projectile will go; and unlike a chemical explosive weapon, the diameter of the projectile is of little importance.
This has resulted in railguns gravitating towards small, dense, and long projectiles that can be accelerated to extremely high velocities. Though the average anti tank railgun projectile (referred to as a nail) has a diameter smaller than the round of the average handgun, it is accelerated to extremely high velocities and is made of extremely dense metal. The basic AP "nail", made of tungsten, can punch through tank armour with contemptuous ease, although it has a tendency to pass clean through the target, instead of imparting its full kinetic energy to the target. These are the most commonly issued rounds, and tests have shown them capable of passing through multiple targets in sequence.
Other rounds include break-tips, which have ablative ends that shear off while passing through the first layer of armour, leaving the tungsten projectile to bounce around the inside of the vehicle, and blunt tipped rounds, which impart the full kinetic energy of the projectile to the target, dealing tremendous damage.
In Allied Service Edit
The Allies, having seen how effective railguns are in combat trials, looked back at their Assault Destroyer's swivel cannon and its usefulness in combat. Although the Assault Destroyer had its Black Hole Armour and was amphibious, the lacklustre performance of its main gun did not allow it to live up to its name of 'Assault'.
"Why don't we steal a railgun, then?" suggested an experienced spy during a meeting with some folks from Gerhardt-Giraud Shipworks. The idea was forwarded to Allied High Command, and the spy was told: "We want you to sneak into one of their Sprawls, steal all railgun related research, steal one of their Cerberus units that they trialled in the past to be our MBT, and drive it all the way back to base."
Though it was meant as sarcasm, the Spy took it seriously and decided to steal the blueprints for a working railgun. Naturally, Allied Command was quite surprised but decided to take advantage of it.