The objective of this work is to investigate acceleration of a water slug by the powder explosion. The process occurs in a device termed the water cannon, which entails a barrel with an attached nozzle. The explosion products expel the slug from the barrel at an extremely high speed. Due to the acceleration in the nozzle the speed of the slug significantly exceeds that of a bullet driven by the similar explosion. The computational procedure was used to evaluate the pressure, velocity and density fields in the course of slug acceleration in the x-t space. The procedure is based on the finite difference method and the method of characteristics. The initial water velocity and pressure are assumed to be zero. The pressure at water-explosion product interface is determined by the conditions of the powder combustion while the pressure at the water-atmosphere interface is equal to zero. The results of the computations enable us to explain the peculiarities of the operation of the water cannon and to optimize device design.

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