China is trying out the biggest coil gun globally, which can shoot a heavy object weighing over 100 kilograms (220 pounds) at a speed of 700 kilometers per hour (435 miles per hour) in less than 0.05 seconds. Chinese media reported this on Friday.
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The coil gun, also known as a Gauss gun or a magnetic accelerator, has a bunch of coils along its barrel. These coils are activated one by one to create a magnetic field that pushes the object forward. The object used in the experiment weighs 124 kilograms, the heaviest ever for such a test.
A team of Chinese Navy scientists is running these tests. They haven’t given out all the details about the coil gun or when it will be used, but they did mention that an object shot by this gun can hit something several kilometers away.
The object has sensors that are safe from electromagnetic radiation. This helps the operator gather information about how it’s moving through the air.
The new weapon is set to revolutionize how the Chinese military operates, boosting both projectile speed and accuracy while ensuring safer and more reliable shots, according to Guan’s statements. Furthermore, the knowledge acquired from these tests could have applications in launching high-speed rockets and satellites in near-Earth orbit, he noted.
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The Chinese government has recently made public a video showcasing what they claim to be the world’s most potent wind tunnel. This footage displays a scale separation test of an air-launched space plane design from a mothership aircraft.
Back in the 2000s, the United States conducted comparable experiments at the Sandia National Laboratories. During these trials, they successfully launched an 18-kilogram projectile using a 120mm-caliber electromagnetic coil mortar.