Navy pulls plug on $500 million railgun effort

The Navy is shifting away from its electromagnetic railgun after more than 10 years of trying to create a weapon that uses electricity to fire projectiles at up to seven times the speed of sound, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

Navy spokesperson Lt. Courtney Callaghan confirmed to The Hill that the decision to pause railgun research, which would come at the end of the fiscal year, “is consistent with department-wide reform initiatives” to free up resources for hypersonic missiles, directed-energy systems like lasers and electronic warfare systems.

The move comes as the Pentagon wants to focus on hypersonic missiles to keep pace with China and Russia.

What’s more, the Navy has long struggled with perfecting a railgun, a technology that only got so far as a prototype.