Holy.....crap, Batman, It's the Giant Iraqi SpaceGun

I can vaguely remember something I read in Newsweek in the mid 90s’ about Israel shutting down some sort of “Supergun” project of Saddam Hussein’s. I always vaguely remembered it as being just like described as below, from a review of the movie, “Doomsday Gun

Blame Canada.

Now, all this sounds bizarre, and a review from Amazon is not the most convincing evidence of a real life superweapon, so I have found the below, more or less reputable source (depending on wither or not you trust Canada:

Now, why is this in Questions? Because I was wondering, Where were you when you heard about the Supergun? Did you ever get your picture taken with the Supergun?
Etc., etc., anyone know anymore info on this?

P.S. Maybe that what happend to the “WMDs”. Maybe these were them, the israeli’s destroyed them, and there where none since then.

Here’s a pic of my friend standing next to a piece of the supergun at the “Firepower” museum in Woolwich, England. Actually, we’re not certain that that is what it was, but it was on display at an (not yet finished) artillery museum for Pete’s sake.

The supergun design is an old one. The German’s did a bit of work on it during WW2 but didn’t get it working.

In a normal artillary piece, you have the shell in the barrel and the propellant charge behind it. Light off the charge and the gas pressure accelerates the shell up the barrel. The longer the barrel, the higher the exit speed, as long as the burning propellant continues to maintain gas pressure.

There are practical limitations to this, but you get the idea. The concept behind the supergun is that you have a lot of side chambers on the barrel, filled with propellant. As the shell passes them, the hot gas behind it ignites the propellant in the side chambers, maintaining the barrel pressure and accelerating the shell further. In theory you can make your gun as long as you like, and fire the shell out as fast as you want - into orbit, if that floats your boat.

The German designs kept destroying themselves - hot gas leaked past the shells and set off the charges ahead of them. A redesign used succesive electrical ignition rather than the passing of the shell. I have no idea how far the Iraqi supergun project got, or if their design would have worked.

Could well be. Or it could be a bit of gas pipeline! The barrel pressure for these things can be quite low, and you’d use a smooth bore. If the pipe interior is suspiciously straight, smooth and circular, that’s when to worry. And if it has a row of small side-branching manifolds, that’s when to phone scary people.

There’s another piece of the supergun/pipeline seized by HM Customs on display in the American Air Museum at the Duxford branch of the Imperial War Museum. It’s been kept more carefully than the section Hypno-Toad’s friend’s standing next to.

Damn you, Hypno-Toad! I was going to jump in and point out “Firepower’s” section of the “supergun!” (I saw it there in 2003).

I knew a man (a former coast artillery gunner) who worked with Bull in the early 1960s on the HARP project in Barbados (using a US Navy 16-inch battleship barrel to fire small discarding-sabot “Martlet” vehicle/projectile into orbit). He said that Bull was an egocentric, prickly genius; pretty much confirming some of the detail in this link:


A link from the above site to the “Babylon Project:”


From the above site:

BTW, Hypno-Toad…your friend Lon has a somewhat sinister mein in his black trench coat…just how much does he know about the Supergun, anyway??

The next shot, showing the impacted metal plate, is actually a Victorian armour plate test: they used to do tests on armour (and various new shell types), relating to protecting or penetrating warships. IIRC, this piece came from the Shoeburyness range, circa 1860-1880 period (covering both the Armstrong breech-loading experiment, and the return to muzzle-loading [rifled] artillery).

Enjoyed browsing your photo gallery! Oh, and the WWI “25-pr” is actually the 18-pr., known for its delivery of HE and Shrapnel shells; the gun you have as the “Aden 18-pr” is actually the 25-pr.

Ooh! And you got to Bovington, I see! Well done–I had to take a taxi all the way from the tiny train stop of “Wool.” It’s really in the back of beyond–but well worth the trip.

If you find yourself “up this way,” I’ll show you around our 1890s British coast artillery fort, including the only remaining 6-pr Duplex gun in the world!

It looks like an ordinary London Fog Raincoat™ to me.

How about sending one of those invitation my way. :smiley:

How do you aim one of these things, though? I mean, you could probably alter the range by the amount of propellent, but do you swivel the whole thing around or what?

Of course, you need a BIG one…