China's electromagnetic cannon breaks speed records in projectile testing

China's electromagnetic cannon breaks speed records in projectile testing

Shafaq News / The Chinese navy has successfully tested an electromagnetic-powered cannon capable of launching projectiles at an exceptionally high speed and accuracy, making it the fastest in history, as reported by local reports.

The "South China Morning Post" newspaper stated that the cannon accelerated a 124 kg (273 lbs) projectile to a speed of 700 km/h (435 mph) in less than 0.05 seconds, establishing it as the swiftest cannon in human history.

Development Insights

As per the details from "Sky News", the platform, known as a "coilgun," discharged a 124 kg shell at an astonishing speed of 435 mph, marking the heaviest projectile ever launched in a coilgun experiment.

In comparison, one of the closest global rivals to China's coilgun, a 120 mm electromagnetic railgun system at the Sandia National Laboratories in the US, can launch an 18 kg projectile. Such projectiles, moving at such high velocities, can precisely hit targets kilometers away.

Coilguns, alternatively referred to as Gauss rifles or magnetic accelerators, incorporate a series of sequentially energized coils along the barrel of the firearm. These generate a magnetic field that propels the projectile forward.

Typically, during launch, the projectile remains suspended in the middle of the coil, ensuring a straight trajectory and avoiding contact with the barrel walls.

This groundbreaking technology could potentially revolutionize warfare, enabling swifter, more precise, and highly devastating attacks on adversary targets. Additionally, it holds the potential to launch missiles or even send satellites into space.

Although the concept has existed for decades, the challenges posed by material science and electronics have hindered the creation of large, powerful models.

It is noteworthy that other global systems tend to launch much lighter projectiles, weighing just a few grams and with diameters measuring a few millimeters. Compared to traditional artillery, coilguns offer numerous advantages, including heightened firing speeds, reduced launch costs, and quicker setup times.

Currently, the 30-stage coilgun remains in its testing phase, and there is uncertainty surrounding its potential deployment in operational settings.

China's endeavors also extend to developing a more potent coilgun with the capacity to propel a projectile at a staggering speed of 3600 km/h. Moreover, the rapid strides China is making in coilgun technology can be partly attributed to significant advancements in sensor technology.

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