Jerry Hendrix, vice president of Telemus Group, discusses the Navy’s work developing state-of-the-art weapons, and how the existence of a Chinese railgun should change the Pentagon’s priorities.
A recent U.S. intelligence report says that the Chinese are on pace to have a ship-based electromagnetic railgun in the field by 2025. While the Navy has been developing a similar weapon for several years, sea trials only began last December. Jerry Hendrix, vice president of Telemus Group, says that the Navy needs to prioritize building ships that can have railguns and other high-tech weapons installed. “The potential enemies are beginning to look at hypersonic weapons, directed energy, rail guns, electromagnetics and so on. We’ve had that in research and development for a long time, but now we need to find a way of cutting that into our production schedule. The fact is that we only have a few opportunities to do that,” said Hendrix. “The only new ship that we really have in development right now is the new fast frigate. We need to make sure that that ship’s design has enough excess power capacity to take up future weapons like directed energy or electromagnetics.”