Kinetic Energy Weapons
Kinetic Energy Weapons or rail guns are popular for planetary and space battles. The projectiles have enough speed that magnetic shields do not deflect them and the amount of kinetic energy that deliver is more effective than explosives.the only effective defense are plasma shields on large military ships that incinerate the projectile before it reaches the ship.
A railgun comprises a pair of parallel conducting rails, along which a sliding armature is accelerated by the electromagnetic effects of a current that flows down one rail, into the armature and then back along the other rail.
The armature may be an integral part of the projectile, but it may also be configured to accelerate a separate, electrically isolated or non-conducting projectile. Solid, metallic sliding conductors are often the preferred form of railgun armature but “plasma” or “hybrid” armatures can also be used. A plasma armature is formed by an arc of ionised gas that is used to push a solid, non-conducting payload in a similar manner to the propellant gas pressure in a conventional gun. A hybrid armature uses a pair of “plasma” contacts to interface a metallic armature to the gun rails. Solid armatures may also “transition” into hybrid armatures, typically after a particular velocity threshold is exceeded.
Due to their destructive capabilities and difficulty for defense the military restricts their use from hand held versions all the way up to ship size are only available on the black market.