This being the 21st century, the US Navy has other ideas as it prepares to install and test a prototype electromagnetic railgun on a Spearhead-class joint high speed vessel (JHSV) in 2016 as part of a program to develop the naval artillery of the future.
Modern missiles are miracles of range, accuracy and lethality, but they are also incredibly complex and expensive with a single shot costing millions of dollars. Old-fashioned projectile weapons are cheaper, but also much less effective. They have shorter ranges, less accuracy, and still need dangerous-to-handle propellants to fire them. According to the US navy, what is needed is something with an effectiveness comparable to that of a missile, but with costs per round less than that of conventional naval artillery.
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