Japan allocates $56 million toward developing electric railgun for missile defense
With its recent development of a large gun that uses electromagnetic force to launch a projectile, Japan’s military is pushing weaponry into new spheres of technological capability. The new railgun can fire projectiles at six times the speed of sound and can defend against advanced hypersonic missiles. Even though it requires a lot of power consumption and lacks optimal mobility and cooling efficiency, it is more fully developed and deployable than similar weaponry developed for the United State military. Still, railguns overall are not yet as effective as convention missile technology, says Fulton Schools Professor Braden Allenby, founding chair of the Consortium for Emerging Technologies, Military Operations, and National Security. But Allenby foresees Japan’s project potentially prompting other nations to invest in the pursuit of more railgun advances in the future.