Japan Conducts Research on Electromagnetic Railgun
New weapons are emerging on the battlefield. The electromagnetic railgun is waiting its turn once the technological barriers are solved. The U.S. started to work on the project almost 30 years ago and gave a long pause. It restarted nearly ten years ago again, and two years ago, the U.S. Navy that works on the project declared that it would wait for another term to wait for technological maturity. The U.S.’s pause has not stopped others from working on the project. Turkiye has Tubitak SAGE and ASELSAN working on the project and Urban Savunma on the other. Europe is investing in the project, and China has declared it reached some milestones.
Japanese Defence Ministry announced on its website that it is also working on the project. The ministry says, “We have been conducting a series of research on electromagnetic railgun which accelerates projectile using electric energy. The electromagnetic railgun can launch projectile in extremely high muzzle velocity compared with conventional guns using the energy of gun powder, and is expected to realize greater penetration power and longer shooting range.”
Japanese Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) has announced that the railgun is installed in a ship and fired the railgun on open sea. The ATLA said that they support the railgun for the protection of surface ships against air and surface threats.
Japan’s intention to reach long-range with projectile also brings new questions about the country’s defence politics.