This US Navy-developed railgun is not to be trifled with. In recent tests, this weapon fired a electromagnetically-charged projectile at 8,000 KPH, generating a staggering (not to mention record-setting) 33,000 megajoules of power.
According to Fox News, railguns have been a much talked about fantasy weapon, as they have the potential to hit a target hundreds of miles away in a matter of minutes, but they have yet to escape test labs and enter into the real world due to electrical and thermodynamic considerations.
The Navy sees railguns as an advantageous weapon of the future because of their non-explosive, (relatively) low cost components, in addition to their ability to hit a target over 160km away with pinpoint accuracy. Current Navy guns can only hit a target 24km away, at best. But to in order to get these cutting edge weapons into battle, the Navy first needs to upgrade the electrical systems in the ships, so it has enough power. They also need to figure out how to control the heat generated by the friction of the projectile, so that the rails (along with the gun) aren't destroyed in the process. Until then, weapons freaks can only dream. [Fox News via Cnet via CrunchGear]