The Navy is hoping that their newest 10 megajoule railgun (topping their old pathetic 9 megajoule) will replace the standard 5-inch guns on most of their ships. Projectiles fired at this energy level reach about 5,600 mph, but the Navy isn't stopping there. They have their eyes set on a 64 megajoule system capable of shooting at over 13,000 mph and hitting 5 meter targets from 200 nautical miles.
To give you a sense of scale, an 8 megajoule test shot has an impacting force that the Navy describes as being the equivalent of “hitting a target with a Ford Taurus at 380 mph.”
I don't know about the whole Ford Taurus comparison, what I want to know is whether this level of energy is in excess of the 1.21 jigowatts needed to power my flux capacitor. Somebody please do the math. I'm trying to time travel here people. I'm stealing electricity from both my neighbors but I'm still nowhere close to 1.21 jigos. I'd do the whole lightning bit, but frankly it scares me. As an added bonus anybody who helps me break in and steal this electricity (if it's enough) gets a free historical figure's autograph or pet dinosaur, your choice.
Two wicked videos of the gun in action after the jump.