The obligatory link: A missile punch at bullet prices
Yes, I know, from the dateline on the article, I got to this one late. Still, it is an interesting little article. Starting from the chatroom for Constitutional Public Radio, we got on the topic of various rotary cannons last Thursday. Naturally, that got the Wiki juices flowing freely, and several clicks down the line from vulcan cannons, I ended up with this.
Essentially, the Navy is working on a railgun. To put it in easier terms, it's a gun that fires bullets using magnets instead of gunpowder. Of course, being the Navy, they're doing things big. What we're talking about here is a ship-based weapon capable, according to the article, of Tomahawk cruise missile ranges, with about two minutes faster time-to-target, for $1000 a shot (as opposed to the approximately $1000000 per shot for the Tomahawk), and approximately the same amount of destructive force.
From the article: "Garnett compared that force to hitting a target with a Ford Taurus at 380 mph. "It will take out a building," he said. Warheads aren't needed because of the massive force of impact."
Of course, they're talking about 2020 or so on this project, so we're certainly not there yet. Still, it's cool all the same.