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The Navy's unmanned helicopters and railgun

On or about April 9, 2014 Geobeats shared their video report on unmanned Navy helicopters and their railgun development. Unlike an unmanned drone the Navy's unmanned helicopters do not need constant command and control. Chief of Naval Research Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder states that the unmanned helicopter can be controlled by an electronic tablet. The coordinates for the landing position are entered into the tablet and the helicopter flies directly there. The final destination can be "any location" desired without preparation.

(June 21, 2012) The second of two Office of Naval Research (ONR) Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun industry prototype launchers.
US Govt. Work; Public Domain; Dept. of the Navy;

The unmanned choppers have been under a 5 year $100 million dollar development program. As the video states they may be used to drop supplies or perform rescue missions. According to Jennifer Griffin's Fox News article cited in the video report the new unmanned vehicle can handle cargo up to 5000 pounds. The Navy has previously developed lighter payload bearing unmanned choppers before the latest development - the Fire Scout. Today's topical vehicle is known as the AACUS - Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System. As reported on Navy Live the Robocopter has been successfully tested twice.

The other Navy device reported in the video is the electromagnetic railgun. Those who recall the Reagan Administration may remember "The Star Wars Initiative". One of the concepts under development then was the railgun - though the concept is cited as being older than that. Somewhat like the old Administration's concept the new one is designed to stop missile attacks. The current project has been under development for 10 years at a price of about $240 million. A further demonstration of the awesome power of the EM Railgun is seen on the Navy's YouTube Channel video.

Apparently testing of the EM Railgun has taken the Navy to almost full deployment. The EMR will be deployed on a non-combat vessel known as the JHSV - the Joint High Speed Vessel. Like yesterday's energy weapon (LaWS - The Laser Weapon System) Admiral Klunder describes them as "the future of naval combat". When fully operational, the EM Railgun is expected to launch multi-mission projectiles to a distance of 100 nautical miles. That should be a surprise to just about any enemy combatant.

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