Defense News Update, June 2008

It was recently announce by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) that they believe they have broken one of the longest-standing military records on the books with the development of the Naval Surface Weapons Center's Advanced Modular Gun Demonstrator (AMGD).
The 5-inch naval gun fired shots as far as 86 miles, at altitudes of 155,000 feet and pressures of over 100,000 psi while mounted on its custom-built launch pad during testing at NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The cannon assembly, which is almost 46 feet long, incorporates multiple separable large volume chambers and a segmented barrel. Major elements of the gun system were manufactured in the Albany/Pittsfield area were trucked down to the Virginia for final assembly.
The gun, which was designed by the Applied Ordnance Technology (AOT) Division of SAIC and the APTI Division of Folsom Technologies International of East Greenbush, NY, is being developed to provide the U.S. military with a system to advance gun, projectile and ammunition technology. It is serving in several critical areas, including large caliber hypervelocity research and next generation projectiles and propellants.
" It's an enabling technology," said Chuck Muizers, vice president and manager of AOT Division. "The gun's modular design enables it to serve as a test bed for a multitude of sub-systems and technologies like new chambers, new projectile designs, or new metal compositions. Through mitigating the need to develop new guns for testing purposes, the AMGD offers an alternative that streamlines schedules and reduces costs. Increasing the range of Naval Surface Fire Support requires gun systems firing projectiles at higher velocities, translating to higher heat and pressure levels. Projectiles will need to fly higher and further. Success will require new approaches and new technologies for gun systems and projectiles. We believe that the AMGD will play a key role as an enabling technology in these areas.”
The AMGD provides the Department of Defense community with a test gun for advanced technology in the areas of hypersonic and long range projectiles, advanced propellants, barrel materials, gun and projectile instrumentation. The gun can launch projectiles at speeds up to 4,500 miles per hour (Mach 6).
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