China develops ship-based electromagnetic railgun

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In Chinese social media were published images of Type 072 III landing ship Haiyangshan equipped with a prototype electromagnetic railgun. 

According to the navyrecognition.com, The pictures released on January 31st show the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy) Type 072 III landing ship Haiyangshan (hull number 936) fitted with the suspected railgun at its bow and several ISO containers amidship.

The China Navy’s experimental railgun is mounted on landing ship as the test platform and speculated to enter service with the next Type055 DDG variant.

The Drive reported that, if confirmed, this would be the first time any country has actually installed an electromagnetic gun system on a ship, even for test purposes, and would be a game-changing development for China’s military.

More: Turkey unveils SAPAN prototype of electromagnetic railgun

Chinese electromagnetic research began in the 1980s. As opposed to gunpowder, railguns use electromagnetic energy to sling out a projectile, which means there’s potential for far greater speed and range—the equivalent of a cannon with missile effects. Essentially, a railgun is an electromagnetic-powered cannon that’s fires hypersonic shells by applying parallel magnetic fields (or “rails”) on the shells.  While railguns are relatively simple to build, the difficulty lies in scaling them up, as well as making the barrel durable enough for multiple firings.

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Early, rear Admiral Ma Weiming told Chinese experts in electromagnetic research that the country has made breakthroughs in key areas of electromagnetic applications, such as railguns and electromagnetic-assisted launch system (EMALS) catapults.

If this turret aboard the landing ship is confirmed to be a railgun, China would definitly be ahead with the technology.


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