The U.S. Navy's latest innovation comes in the form of a 23-pound projectile that can fly at twenty-seven times the speed of sound. It is launched from what is called a "rail gun."
That's fast enough to travel from New York City's Empire State Building to Philadelphia's Liberty Bell in 18 seconds. The projectile is designed to punch through three walls of reinforced concrete and annihilate just about anything it smashes into. It moves so quickly, in fact, that it doesn't require a triggered explosion on impact; its sheer force is enough to destroy its targets.
The rail project costs the taxpayers $800 million. However there is a problem with it: The projectile flies so fast it dissolves into thin air if its target is beyond 14 yards.
Even though it is a dismal failure, naval researchers will continue with a new mission to develop a 2.0 version of the rail gun which will fly at more than It is expected to cost the same as the original.
"Let's put this in perspective," said Secretary of War Chuck Hegel. "The F-35 fighter jet, which hasn't been combat ready for year, is a 1.3 trillion dollar boondoggle. So the rail project cost is nothing."
He continued, "The F-35, the rails, and other military equipment do provide a lot of jobs. Of course, I guess we could provide employment by smashing up cars, setting telephone polls on fire, and that sort of thing in order to repair of replace them."