Heavy weapons

From OniGalore
Jump to navigation Jump to search

I am Heavy Weapons Guy, and this... is my weapon. She weighs 150 kilograms and fires 200-dollar custom-tooled cartridges at 10,000 rounds per minute. It costs 400,000 dollars to fire this weapon... for 12 seconds.

Large yield

Vacuum bomb

A vacuum bomb displaces the explosive charge into the surrounding air (in the form of powder or liquid spray) before the detonation takes place.

  • Russia's "father of bombs", tested on 9/11/2007, is a response to US MOAB (conventional bomb) used in 2003.
  • The FOAB is 4 times as powerful as the MOAB, and thus comparable to the smallest nuclear weapons.
  • The dispersed explosives of the FOAB are apparently produced using nanotechnologies.
German article
English article


Sentry guns and smart guns are common in science fiction. You can see this weapon in Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence when the battleship fires at the Puppet Master's location. The closest real-world counterpart are Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS).

Long-range machine gun


Mechanism: A railgun uses electricity to accelerate a projectile between two rails. This is what it looks like.

A projectile's speed is limited by various factors:

  • Rail material (due to friction)
  • Supply of electricity
  • Air friction (which can burn up the projectile in the worst case)

Figures from a test on 1/31/2008

  • The projectile reached Mach 7; that's approximately 7 x 1,235 km/h, so 8,645 km/h (5,372 mph)
  • Shooting range: about 370 km (230 mi), with an accuracy of 5 meters (16 ft)
  • Projectile weight: 3 kg (7 lb)
  • Rail length: 30 meters (100 ft)

Ammunition types

  • Soft projectiles: air friction breaks the projectile into numerous pieces which hits the target(s) like a shotgun
  • Hard projectiles: solid materials are used to get a bullet-like piercing effect

Future plans

  • The U.S. Navy has publicly demonstrated railguns at sea, and is working on integrating them into its ships (most do not have the electrical output to power them)
  • China and India are also deploying and testing railguns on their large ships


Long-range bombardment

Project Thor

What could be simpler than metal rods, maybe with fins for stability, dropped precisely from a satellite orbiting Earth at 7,000mph (that's 9km/s, or Mach 10)? But what metal to use that can withstand this heat? Easy: tungsten. Melting point of 6,192°F (3,422°C). Boiling point is so high that it would stay liquid on the surface of the Sun. This has never been tried, so we don't know what it would look like when deployed. Obviously you wouldn't see the rods, only the result of their impact; could you see a plasma trail left behind in the atmosphere? Has the power of a railgun, or more, with the advantage that you don't have to deploy the weapon on or near the battlefield. No insanely high electrical consumption. Of course, there's that minor initial cost of orbital installation....


A multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) seems like a harmless-sounding name for what looks like (and is) death raining down from above. The invention of MIRV pretty much guaranteed mutual assured destruction during the Cold War since it's almost impossible to defend against all the incoming warheads. Breathtaking/scary pictures here.

High firing rate

Gatling guns

Gatling guns, AKA chainguns, vulcan guns, and miniguns ("If that's a minigun, I wonder what a maxigun is!") are often featured in video games (DOOM, Serious Sam, Gunman chronicles, etc., etc.). They use multiple barrels combined with a single loading and firing mechanism, which allows every barrel to cool down between two of the barrel's firing cycles. The firing rate is roughly that of a single barrel times the number of barrels, the limiting factor being the cooling rate.


The fastest chainguns in operation are the Kashtan and the AK-630 (6,000 and 5,000 round/min, respectively), equipped on Russian Navy cruisers.

GAU-8 Avenger

The GAU-8 Avenger is used on the famous A-10 "tank killer" aircraft. The ammunition is stored in a large cylinder-shaped container and fed to the gun by a belt. A similar but much smaller variant is carried by Vulcan Raven in Metal Gear Solid.

Metal Storm

Metal Storm is closer to a volley gun than to a chaingun, the only difference being that a volley gun uses several barrels. Bullets are loaded/reloaded in a single barrel as a "tube" of specially-designed, assorted rounds, and fired in a sequence. The theoretical firing rate of 1,000,000 rounds/min. is as usual limited by the cooldown rate of the single barrel and by the feed rate of the ammo. The guns are intended for CIWS systems, and in that respect are similar to the more conventional gatling gun arrays.

High caliber

The .50 caliber round is the biggest conventional caliber used in military or personal weapons. Watch this famous video where someone narrowly dodges death-by-.50-cal-ricochet.


Also see the cancelled Future Soldier project.