The U.S. Navy has reached a huge milestone on December 10, when they fired off a projectile packing 33-megajoules of energy using their most powerful weapon — the railgun.

The kinetic energy in the 33-megajoule railgun is equivalent to a 33-ton semi-truck when traveling at 100mph.

“The 33-megajoule shot means the Navy can fire projectiles at least 110 nautical miles, placing Sailors and Marines at a safe standoff distance and out of harm’s way, and the high velocities achievable are tactically relevant for air and missile defense,” Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, chief of naval research. “This demonstration moves us one day closer to getting this advanced capability to sea,” he said.

Along with the extended range of the new railgun, its shells move five times faster than the speed of sound, and moves 20 times farther than the conventional guns currently used on U.S. Navy vessels.

“Today’s railgun test demonstrates the tactical relevance of this technology, which could one day complement traditional surface ship combat systems,” he said.

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