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Railgun prototype being tested in Va.

Thursday - 10/11/2012, 1:33pm  ET

DAHLGREN, Va. - A launcher prototype for a futuristic new Navy weapon is being tested at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren.

The Office of Naval Research says two different companies are working on designs for the newest generation of Navy weapons.

The railgun uses kinetic energy to fire a projectile. The new munition would eliminate the need for a high-energy explosive. It is being developed for use on a wide range of ships.

The Free Lance-Star reports ( http://bit.ly/T86Xsc) that Dahlgren's firing range has been the site of several tests so far, including a record 33-megajoule shot in December 2010.

The Navy received about $240 million in funding for the initial phase of the railgun project, and about the same amount to continue the work through 2017.

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Information from: The Free Lance-Star, http://www.fredericksburg.com/


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)