A new type of cannon capable of hurling a projectile at more than seven times the speed of sound is being developed for warships by the U.S. Navy, the Associated Press reports. The weapon, known as an "electromagnetic railgun," uses powerful magnets and supercharged electricity instead of explosives to fire rounds to their targets.
Experts project that the futuristic gun will be able to shoot a 40-pound projectile upwards of 200 miles. That's more than the distance between Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.
The Navy says that the gun could be ready to install on ships by 2017. But Navy researchers continue to improve the design to make sure that projectiles won't disintegrate because of the heat and G-forces that result from firing.
See a video of a test-fire of the electromagnetic railgun below.