Chinese Navy Tests Electromagnetic Railgun
According to the South China Morning Post, the country’s new Gauss gun can fire a 124-kilogram projectile at a speed of 700 Km/h in less than 0.05 seconds. The new electromagnetic launcher is expected to hit targets at a more than 100 km distance, accelerating the projectile to 3600 km/h. The speed, however, indicates that the Chinese version is slower than the U.S. version’s pace, which could reach Mach 8.8.
The test used the heaviest Gauss gun ammunition available. At the same time, Chinese scientists and the military have yet to reveal details about the launch range and other tests.
This technology has been around for decades, but materials science and electronics issues have made large, powerful models difficult to create. Gaussian guns are electromagnetic mass accelerators. The barrel is made of dielectric material and is housed inside a solenoid. When an electric current is applied to the solenoid, an electromagnetic field is created, which accelerates the projectile.
The U.S. had abandoned the same project twice due to technological immaturity. In Turkiye, there are two alternative projects. ASELSAN and TUBİTAK SAGE, who worked individually, combined their forces. On the other hand, the private Defence Company Urban Savunma works on the Şahi 209 electromagnetic rail gun.