China has developed electromagnetic launch technologies that allow the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to build a futuristic naval weapon – an electromagnetic railgun.
A railgun uses massive electrical pulse, rather than gunpowder or other chemical propellants, to launch projectiles at distances over 100 nautical miles at speeds that exceed Mach 6.
According to a news release from the PLA Naval University of Engineering in Wuhan, Hubei province, Rear Admiral Ma Weiming, the university’s top researcher, has designed electromagnetic launch systems as part of “a key national defense program”.
More than 100 Chinese experts in the field, including 40 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, were “ecstatic” at a briefing when they saw what Ma had achieved, state owned media, China Military reported today.
Railgun weapons are the subject of research even with the US Navy which is attempting to develop a working prototype for several years now.
As recent as July this year, The Office of Naval Research, US DoD, demonstrated the Navy’s electromagnetic railgun initial rep-rate fires of multi-shot salvos at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.
If the normally guarded Chinese MoD has let out the information into the public domain it is an indication that its project has reached a certain maturity.
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